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GP surgeries are busy places and GPs are required to make increasingly quick decisions about their patients’ diagnoses, referral needs and treatment. Inevitably, mistakes happen. When a medical error by a GP or their practice staff results in serious harm to a patient, the patient is entitled to compensation for their injury and its financial consequences.
For over 30 years, our friendly, highly skilled GP negligence solicitors have helped hundreds of people claim their full entitlement to compensation from their GP's insurers.
General Practitioners are responsible for providing routine healthcare to their registered patients, arranging tests and investigations, and referring to specialist doctors when a patient is showing signs or symptoms of a potentially serious illness.
GPs are held to the same standards as other medical professionals. When a GP fails to act in accordance with the standard practice of a responsible GP, that is a breach of their duty of care to their patient. Breach of duty by a GP is also known as GP negligence. If the negligence causes serious or lasting injury to the patient, they may be able to claim compensation.
A patient may have a claim against a GP if they suffer avoidable injury which was caused by the GP’s negligent:
To help support your GP negligence claim, we will obtain medical records, any investigation documentation and treatment protocols. We will then take a detailed witness statement from you and others as necessary, and instruct independent medical experts to consider the care you received and the consequences for you of the failings in your care.
The defendant may accept responsibility for your injury as a result of GP negligence, and we may be able to negotiate the appropriate compensation award at this point.
If settlement is not achieved, we will start court proceedings and take your case towards trial, keeping the defendant under pressure to agree settlement of your GP negligence claim. Over 95% of cases succeed without the need for trial, but every case is prepared on the basis that a judge will need to decide all the issues in your claim that the defendant has not admitted.
Our clients receive the highest standards of advice and representation and are always treated with compassion, outstanding care and understanding of the physical, emotional, psychological and financial impact that life-changing injury can have upon their lives.
We have successfully recovered substantial compensation for clients injured by GP negligence which caused serious, permanent disability. Conditions in which GP negligence commonly leads to claims include:
Where a medical negligence claim against a GP relates to treatment after 1st April 2019, the legal claim is defended or settled in the same way as NHS hospital negligence claims, by the NHS’s defence organisation, NHS Resolution.
The Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) covers GPs for any compensation they are ordered to pay to an injured patient as settlement for a negligence claim. Medical negligence claims against anyone employed by the GP’s practice to provide NHS medical services are also covered under the CNSGP scheme. These claims are managed in the same way by NHS Resolution.
Some GP negligence claims relating to treatment before 1st April 2019 are also defended and paid for in the same way. Other claims may be covered by the GP’s own defence organisation. Where more than one GP in the same practice was negligent, for example, where the patient saw several doctors about their symptoms before their medical condition was diagnosed, we identify and notify the defence organisation for each GP, so that our client is paid their full compensation.
A general practitioner or GP is a local, community-based doctor who advises and treats people for minor and chronic illnesses.
GPs provide routine healthcare to their registered patients. The GP is often the first doctor that a patient consults when they have a healthcare problem which needs referral to hospital or to a specialist for treatment.
An important part of the GP’s role is recognising when a patient is experiencing symptoms or showing signs of a serious illness that cannot be treated by the GP. It is their responsibility to arrange for the patient to be seen by the right type of hospital doctor or surgeon, within the correct timescale for the injury – e.g. urgently or routinely – and to provide accurate information to the hospital specialist about why they think the patient needs their help. They may also refer the patient to hospital for tests or investigations, such as x-rays or scans.
In emergency situations, a GP will sometimes call an ambulance to take the patient directly to hospital or tell the patient’s family to take them immediately to A&E (the hospital’s accident and emergency department). Where a GP sends a patient directly to hospital they will often advise the hospital of their concerns about the patient’s health and the reason for emergency admission or treatment.
When a patient leaves hospital, the GP receives information from the hospital about the patient’s treatment and ongoing needs. They may be responsible for following up the patient, explaining test results to them, ordering future tests, or prescribing medicines. Even after a patient has been seen in hospital, the GP may need to refer the patient back to hospital if, in their professional opinion, the patient needs further specialist treatment.
GP appointments take place within a few minutes. Within that time the GP must:
Our previous GP negligence cases:
£1, 330,000 compensation settlement for a man whose cauda equina syndrome disability was caused by delays in surgical treatment after an out-of-hours GP failed to refer him immediately to hospital when he presented with red flag cauda equina symptoms.
£1,300,000 for a man with diabetes who required a below-knee amputation after a GP nurse practitioner failed to refer him to a multi-disciplinary foot care (MDFC) clinic for treatment of an infected foot wound.
£950,000 settlement for a client with diabetes who needed a below knee amputation after GP delays in diagnosis and treatment of Charcot foot.
£800,000 compensation for a man whose bowel, bladder and sexual function were permanently impaired as a result of a GP’s failure to refer him for urgent treatment for cauda equina syndrome (CES).
£800,000 settlement for a client who suffered physical and psychological injuries from intensive chemo-radiotherapy treatment as a result of delayed referral, diagnosis and treatment of invasive cervical cancer.
£400,000 compensation for woman left with permanent bowel and urinary impairments and ‘saddle area’ loss of sensation, and a psychological injury, after GP and hospital delays in diagnosis and treatment of cauda equina syndrome (CES).
£265,000 in a fatal medical negligence claim for the family of a woman who suffered injuries from chemo-radiotherapy and then died from a recurrence of cervical cancer after GP and hospital delays in diagnosis and treatment.
£250,000 settlement in a fatal medical negligence claim for a widow whose husband died after three GPs failed to refer him for cardiac care.
£250,000 settlement in a fatal claim for the family of a young woman after GP delays in arranging a follow-up smear led to delayed diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer.
£210,000 compensation for a diabetic man who suffered a below-knee amputation as a result of negligent failure by a GP and practise nurse to treat or refer him for treatment of an infection after a minor cut to his foot.
£2m compensation for a client who suffered a brain injury after a GP failed to refer them urgently to hospital with signs of subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH).
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Medical negligence is when a medical professional, such as a doctor, midwife, or nurse, or other healthcare practitioner is negligent if they act in a way that falls below any acceptable standard of care.
If someone is injured as a result of medical negligence, they are entitled to compensation for any injury that was caused and for the financial consequences of that injury.
Medical negligence claims that involve severe injury and disability should always be handled by specialist medical negligence solicitors. It takes experience and skill to successfully prove that medical negligence has caused a patient’s injuries, and to secure the highest levels of compensation.
Anyone who has suffered serious injury or disability as a result of negligent NHS or private medical care can make a medical negligence claim for compensation. Special rules apply to children, adults with mental incapacity, and claims arising from a fatal injury/someone’s death.
Children and teenagers under the age of 18, or anyone with mental incapacity, must make their claim via a ‘litigation friend’. This is usually a parent or guardian in the case of a child, or a partner or other adult family member in the case of an adult with mental incapacity. The solicitor handling the claim takes instructions and works closely with the litigation friend whilst ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of the child or mentally incapable adult who is making the claim. You can find out more about making a claim for a child.
Some important decisions, such as agreements to settle a child or mentally incapable adult’s claim, must be approved by the court. Arrangements must also be made to safeguard the child or mentally incapable adult’s compensation, whether from an interim payment, lump sum settlement or agreed future payments. Depending on the claimant’s circumstances, this may be done by paying the money into a Court Funds Office account until the child is 18, by appointing a Court of Protection deputy or setting up a personal injury trust. You can find out more about Court of Protection deputyship and personal injury trusts.
If the claim is for bereaved family members and dependants after medical negligence caused someone’s death, the claim must be made by the deceased’s personal representative (executor or administrator of their estate) on behalf of all who are entitled to compensation as a result of the death. You can find out more about making a fatal injury medical negligence claim here.
The NHS has a responsibility to provide its patients with a safe and acceptable level of care. If a patient is seriously injured or their condition is made significantly worse as a result of negligent NHS care, the patient may be entitled to claim compensation.
Compensation can help meet the costs of care, therapies, equipment and home adaptations that are needed when an NHS mistake causes injury or disability that permanently affects the patient’s life.
We are experts at helping clients receive the compensation they deserve from the NHS. We understand the concerns that patients and their families sometimes have about claiming against the NHS. You can read our answers to many of the most common questions on our NHS claims page or speak to one of our solicitors about your own claim by contacting us.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that any particular claim will settle out of court, we take great care in investigating and preparing each claim that we take on. Our clients’ claims usually settle successfully without the need for a contested trial.
Occasionally, cases can only be concluded by a formal court hearing, such as where:
Where our client’s claim is complicated by any of the above, we may advise our client that for the case to proceed, it must go to a court hearing. Our caring and highly experienced medical negligence solicitors and barristers ensure that our clients are always kept informed and supported.
Even in non-contested cases, there will be occasions when the case is brought for shorter hearings before the court, such as after a settlement for a child or brain injured adult without mental capacity takes place. In these cases, the lawyers for both sides present the agreed settlement to the court for the judge’s approval.
Each claimant’s compensation is calculated in accordance with mandatory rules based on their individual circumstances.
Compensation for medical negligence should put the injured person back in the position that they would have been in if the negligence hadn’t happened, in so far as money can.
In a medical negligence claim, the amount of compensation depends on:
Compensation for medical negligence usually includes a sum for the injury, and sums to compensate for financial losses and the cost of meeting the needs that arise from the disability.
Our medical negligence solicitors ensure clients receive their compensation in the way that is best suited to meet their needs.
Depending on our clients’ injuries, individual circumstances and needs, we can recover compensation to pay for:
Where medical negligence caused someone’s death, compensation may be claimed by the deceased’s dependants and on behalf of the deceased’s estate. Compensation in a fatal injury medical negligence claim can be paid for:
There are three ways to fund a medical negligence claim, legal aid, no win no fee, and legal expense insurance.
A medical examination is usually needed to assess our client’s injury. Where our client has suffered multiple injuries or both physical and psychological injuries, they may need to be examined by specialists in each area. This is important to make sure that our client’s injuries are fully assessed and understood, so that they can be properly compensated.
If a medical examination is needed, we instruct the specialist and make the arrangements. We ensure that they have access to our client’s medical records and are aware of the background to the claim. The hospital or doctor against whom the claim is being made may also ask for our client to be examined by their medical expert.
The law states that, in most cases, someone who has been injured as a result of medical negligence has three years from the date of the negligence which caused the injury to issue court proceedings. If they fail to issue court proceedings within that time, their claim will be statute barred, meaning that they lose their right to bring a claim.
There are the following exceptions to the three-year rule:
Regardless of your time limit, we recommend that you contact our medical negligence solicitors as soon as you can, even if at that stage you are only considering whether to make a claim.
By contacting us early, it avoids later problems with deadlines and allows us to advise you on how to collect and preserve essential evidence. This enables us to ensure you have the best chance of securing your entitlement to full compensation for your claim.
If a baby, child, or teenager under the age of 18 makes a claim for compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence, their claim is made on their behalf by a ‘litigation friend’. This is usually a parent or guardian.
As the child’s solicitor, we have a responsibility to make sure that all decisions relating to the claim are made in the best interests of the child. To do this, we work very closely with the child’s family. Some important decisions, such as settlement agreements or the amount of money that is allocated to a child in a claim involving more than one claimant, must be approved by the court.
We are specialists in helping families obtain full compensation for children who have been very severely injured, leaving them with permanent disability and lifelong specialist needs. Our expert children’s claims service includes a dedicated Court of Protection team who help our clients protect, budget and access their compensation via deputyship and trusts, and an SEN team to ensure that their special educational needs are met. Find out more about how we help families, children, and teenagers with children’s claims.
If you think that you or a family member have received negligent medical treatment or have experienced malpractice, we recommend that you speak to one of our friendly, experienced clinical negligence claim solicitors as soon as possible.
You can contact us by telephone or by email. Your enquiry will be handled confidentially and preliminary advice in relation to pursuing a claim will be given free of charge.
Our medical negligence solicitors will ask you to tell us briefly what has happened, advise you about the limitation deadlines (time limits) which apply to your claim and whether we are able to help you investigate your claim.
Once our initial investigations have taken place, we will notify the defendant (hospital or doctor) of your intention to pursue a claim and invite them to respond, giving them an opportunity to admit liability, before court proceedings are issued.
If liability is admitted, we will enter judgment and apply for an interim payment as soon as possible to meet any urgent needs that you may have as a result of the negligently caused injury.
If liability is disputed, we will discuss with you the further steps that we need to take to progress your claim.
Our extensive guide on making a medical negligence claim explains the whole process, if you require any further information.
The duration of a medical negligence claim depends on the individual circumstances of the client’s case. The claim is likely to take less time to conclude where:
Circumstances which make the claim more complex and therefore take longer to resolve include:
Our medical negligence solicitors work hard to secure early admissions of liability and substantial interim payments so that we can begin to alleviate financial hardship and provide essential care, respite, specialist equipment, therapies and home adaptations long before the claim has settled. With liability judgments secured and interim funds in place, the individual and their family are able to focus on rebuilding their lives whilst we concentrate on valuing and negotiating settlement of the claim.
Compensation is carefully structured to ensure the best provision for the injured person’s needs. Our clients often benefit from different types of compensation, including:
Where healthcare is found to be (legally) negligent, then the claimant (the person making the claim) must prove that their injury was caused or significantly worsened by the negligent care.
This is important because the patient may already be very ill when they receive negligent medical care. In those circumstances, they must prove that their injury (and its financial consequences) would have been avoided or greatly reduced if correct treatment had been given. This aspect of the medical negligence claim is known as ‘causation’. Causation must be proven, even if negligence is admitted, for the claim to succeed and compensation to be awarded.
Negligence and causation must be proven by supportive opinions from medical experts. We instruct experts in the same field of medicine as the negligent care to tell us whether the care that was given was of a reasonable standard. If negligence is proven, we ask medical specialists in the type of injury suffered, to confirm whether our client’s injury was caused or made worse by the negligent treatment, or would have been reduced or avoided with correct care.
In a medical negligence claim, compensation will only be paid for injuries and loss that we can prove were caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence. Once we know what mistakes were made, the next step (causation) is to identify the extent of the injury or disability that was caused by those mistakes.
Proving causation in complex medical negligence cases requires both medical expertise and understanding of the law. We often succeed in claims where NHS Resolution (the NHS’ defence organisation) has denied ‘causation’. You can read more about how we overcome difficulties with causation in complex birth injury cases.
Our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been nationally recognised for over 20 years because of their expertise, empathy and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients.
Fran has been an amazing support through a very difficult time for me and my family. Always available to speak and kept me in the loop with anything happening, she has been so kind, and I thank her so much for helping and getting my mum the justice she deserved.
What has to be some of the most testing horrible times was dealt with in a dignified, honest, approachable and truly empathetic manner. I could not begin to do Susan justice for her handling of our case.
I approached Boyes Turner after my claim was turned down by one of the Medical Negligence Claim company. My wife was a victim of medical negligence.
Boyes Turner have acted so efficiently on our behalf and was able to win our case. Anytime we contact them, their customer service was very good as they kept us fully informed of every level our case has developed. They are very friendly and approachable and great in their professional advise. I would strongly recommend anyone approach them for their legal and medical negligence services.
Thoroughly professional, knowledgable and approachable with communication and updates as and when needed, in what can be a drawn out process, I was always comfortable asking questions and always received answers which were clear and understandable. Highly recommend
I came to Boyes Turner desperate after searching the web for a firm to use for my sons case. He was only a few months so my mind was all over the place, but from the very first point of contact I felt a sense of relieve and belonging. I was welcomed and looked after by amazing staff who always communicated everything so well and went the extra mile to explain things and ensure I understood what was happening every step of the way (THANK YOU SUSAN BROWN). Susan was amazing I felt like I not only had a solicitor but someone who understood my emotions as a mother and always handled me with so much compassion and that was all I needed to keep me going for the 6 years of the case. Years went by in a breeze because of how professional Boyes Turner was. I am so greatful I went through it all with them and mananged to get my son a good compensation. We look forward our new life where my sons needs are priority after struggling for so long. Thank you Boyes Turner and thank you Susan Brown. My family and I are ever indebted.