General Practice is the ‘coalface’ of modern medicine. Claims have (and do) arise often due to delay in referral or investigation of serious medical concerns.
We have handled repeated breast cancer cases against GPs for failing to follow accepted principles for investigating breast concerns, including application of the well known ‘triple test.’
Because of the scale of numbers of patients being seen, a modern general practice must have clear and robust systems for following up patient test results + ensuring patient review/referral. In recent times we have noted a growth in ‘systems failure’ claims, relating essentially to clerical or administrative errors leading to inaccurate advice as to test results, follow up recommendations or counselling, sometimes with very serious consequences (and in several cases, tragically life-ending consequences).
- Negligent failure to inform patient of presence of breast cancer on FNA
- Failure to investigate persistent headaches (due to undiagnosed coloid cyst)
- Failure to perform careful clinical examination of patient’s concerning breast lump (many..)
- Negligent prolonged prescription of steroid medication inducing side-effects
- Negligent performance of ganglion surgery (several)
- Negligent management of Warfarin medication + monitoring of INR levels
- Negligent failure to investigate coughing of blood, due to undiagnosed dvt and pulmonary emboli
- Negligent failure to investigate and diagnose heart attack