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Written on 16th March 2022 by Tara Pileggi-Byrne

Boyes Turner’s medical negligence claims lawyers secured a compensation settlement for a client after two GPs failed to diagnose and treat his ruptured Achilles tendon.

Our client felt a popping sensation at the back of his lower leg, which gave way, whilst he was running on the beach. He contacted his GP the next day and, after telephone ‘triage’, an appointment was made for him to see a GP at the surgery the same day. The medical notes record that a Simmonds test (to test for rupture of the Achilles tendon) was carried out and was negative. The plan in the notes was to monitor his condition and go to the emergency department if the pain persisted.

He returned to the GP surgery nine days later. He was seen by a second GP who noted the history of his injury. The doctor also noted that he was limping, and his foot, ankle and lower calf were swollen, but not hot or tender, suggesting muscle strain and haematoma (collection of blood within the tissues). The doctor didn’t test for Achilles tendon rupture, but called another doctor to review our client, and then advised on reducing the swelling, assuring him that it would resolve.

After two more weeks of struggling with his ankle, our client called NHS 111. He was told to contact a primary care service within six hours. He attended an out of hours doctor who carried out a D-Dimer test (for blood clots, such as DVT). The test result was positive, and our client was given anti-coagulant (blood thinning) medication and referred for an ultrasound scan the next day. The scan confirmed that there was no DVT. As he had pain, numbness and difficulty lifting his big toe, he was referred to the urgent treatment centre where he was seen by a nurse the same day. The nurse found the Simmonds test was positive and noted a dip in the Achilles tendon on examination. She diagnosed an Achilles tear in the right ankle. Our client was given a cast and crutches and referred to the fracture clinic. At the clinic, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon confirmed that there had been a missed diagnosis of Achilles tendon rupture, and recommended surgery.  Our client had surgery to his tendon three months later. He eventually made a full recovery.

We served letters of claim on the two GPs who had seen our client after his injury and failed to diagnose and arrange treatment for his Achilles tendon rupture. The claim was made on the basis that if the correct diagnosis had been made, our client would have been treated without the need for surgery or if surgical treatment was needed it would have been less invasive. We helped our client claim compensation for the additional injury and loss that he suffered as a result of the delay in diagnosis.

The second GP responded to the claim by accepting responsibility and offered our client an apology.  Following negotiations with their defence team at NHS Resolution, an offer of settlement was made, which our client accepted.  

Our client said, “ Tara Byrne kept me well informed at all stages of my claim. I have been impressed with the way my case was handled, and the time scale within which a settlement was reached.”

If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, contact us here to talk to one of our solicitors, free and confidentially, to find out more about how we can help you make a claim