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Written on 21st April 2020 by Julie Marsh

Boyes Turner’s spinal injury lawyers recovered £800,000 in compensation for a 40-year-old man left with permanent disability as a result of his GP’s failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome (CES).

GP fails to examine patient

Our client went to see his GP with complaints of pain in the lower back, numbness in the back of the left thigh, saddle area, bottom and groin area and with impaired bowel and bladder function. The GP did not examine him but referred him for an emergency MRI scan. However, he was informed that the scan would not take place for a few days or even a week.

The following day, the pain worsened and the numbness had begun to spread so he called his GP again. He was prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets. He was not asked to attend the surgery or go to A&E. The next day, the numbness worsened and the symptoms had spread to the right leg. He called the GP who told him to go to A&E. When he got to the hospital, he was seen by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and was referred to a different hospital. He was then diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome and had a lumbar discectomy and urgent decompression operation. He has been informed that he will not recover full function.

Making a medical negligence claim

He took advice from our medical negligence solicitors and a compensation claim was brought against the GP for the failure to diagnose the CES, which has left him with irreparable bowel and bladder damage, impaired mobility and sexual dysfunction.

The claim was supported by expert evidence from a general practitioner, who confirmed that the GP’s care had been negligent, and by a consultant neurosurgeon who considered that our client’s outcome would have been significantly better had he been operated on three or four days earlier. High Court proceedings were started. An admission of liability was made shortly before trial and judgment was entered against the GP. Our client also received a letter of apology from the defendant GP. The claim settled with a negotiated out-of-court settlement for our client of £800,000.  

If you have suffered a serious injury or disability as a result of medical negligence and would like to find out more about making a claim, you can talk to one of our specialist solicitors, free and confidentially, by contacting us here.