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Written by Susan Brown

Boyes Turner’s medical negligence solicitors have settled a compensation claim for their client, Alison* following the defendant hospital’s delayed diagnosis of invasive cervical cancer.

Hospital fail to diagnose cervical cancer

The hospital inadequately reported Alison's colposcopy histology samples, which led to a series of further failed opportunities to investigate, diagnose and treat the claimant’s cervical cancer. After the cancer was diagnosed and treated, Alison sadly suffered a recurrence of the disease.

As a result of the recurrence, Alison underwent chemo-radiotherapy. This resulted in debilitating side effects including chronic fatigue, tinnitus, urinary and bowel symptoms including faecal urgency and pelvic pain. The continued worry over the likelihood of an imminent, fatal recurrence led to a psychological injury. The physical and psychological injuries meant that Alison could no longer work in her full time, high pressure job, carry out domestic chores at home or take part in family activities with her children.

Delay in diagnosis of cervical cancer claim

Medical expert evidence obtained by our solicitors concluded that, had an earlier diagnosis been made and treatment given, Alison would not have suffered the recurrence. There would have been a high chance of a total cure and the subsequent complications affecting her day to day living would have been avoided.

The defendant hospital denied liability after receiving a letter of claim, so it became necessary to issue Court proceedings. On service of proceedings, the defendant then admitted liability.

Judgment was then entered for Alison, this meant that she had won her case but that the valuation was still to be determined. An interim payment was however secured in the meantime to alleviate the Alison’s financial hardship and consequent stress.

In order to value Alison’s delay in diagnosis of cervical cancer claim, expert evidence was required from a care expert, a psychiatric expert and a colorectal expert, as well as a reassessment of Alison’s condition. This tipped the balance of probability in favour of long term survival, resulting in a sizeable valuation. 

Cancer negligence claim settled

The parties commenced settlement negotiations and an agreement of £575,000 compensation was reached.

Alison said:

“I don't think I will ever forgive and forget what has happened to me but, with the support of Boyes Turner, my family’s lives will be a little more comfortable and slowly we can rebuild them as a family. We can't thank Boyes Turner enough for the support, understanding and everything they have done.”

Alison's medical negligence solicitor, Sita Soni, commented:

“It is encouraging in this case that the defendant hospital recognised and acknowledged the mistakes made in Alison’s care and the effect the delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer has had on her day to day life. With admissions such as these and awareness of cervical cancer being raised by charities like Jo’s Trust, hopefully lessons are being learnt and cases like Alison’s will become non-existent.”  

* All names changed to protect client privacy.