Negligent treatment at the hands of a General Practitioner, or GP, is a thankfully rare occurrence in the UK. The NHS nonetheless fields a significant number of negligence claims annually, 5% of which were attributed to general medicine. So, what is GP negligence and what can it mean for you in the short and long term?
What is GP Negligence?
GP negligence is a term that describes any incidences, acute or ongoing, where a GP has failed in their duty of care to you as a patient – with the direct and probable result of harm, injury, or suffering coming to you. Examples of negligence might include a GP’s failure to diagnose a condition or illness or a mixed prescription of drugs to treat your ailment.
In the short term, misdiagnosis or a complete missed diagnosis can result in the unchecked progression of your ailment, whatever it may be. This can be particularly dangerous with regard to cancerous growths or lumps, as cancer is harder to treat once it has spread. In terms of misprescription of drugs, the short-term effects could also be the unchecked progression of your illness if the drugs you are taking are incorrect. However, short-term damage could also be in the form of dangerous side-effects from overprescribed medication. Anxiety is also an effect that should not be overlooked; mental strife is another serious side-effect of medical negligence and would be included in any damages caused by your situation.
In the long term, your GP’s negligence can have serious knock-on effects on your health. A missed diagnosis might result in a more serious long-term illness, while the taking of misprescribed drugs could have a permanent impact on your body. Your quality of life may have deteriorated, whether due to mental pain and suffering or chronic physical ailments resulting from your treatment Medical Negligence Solicitors.
How to Handle Negligence
GP negligence is a small field within the larger bracket of medical negligence, and the process of putting GP negligence claims together can be a complex one as a result. Four things need to be established for there to be a case against your GP: duty of care, dereliction of duty, damages, and direct cause. Contacting a professional medical negligence solicitor can talk you through your case and the collection of evidence to support your claim, and file your claim on your behalf. The most important thing for you to do during this process is looked after yourself. You have been through an ordeal already, and the stresses of a negligence case – despite the compensation you could be owed – can affect your health. Make sure you have a reliable support network around you and let your solicitors do the work for you.