Clinical Negligence relating to GP Treatment

For most of us when we first start to feel unwell our first port of call is to attend upon our GP. As a GP they are expected to be able to diagnose and treat various conditions and where appropriate they are to identify when patients require specialist treatment. However, mistakes can happen when a GP is assessing a patient. If the GP provides incorrect treatment or fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses a condition then it can have serious consequences for the patient.

How can treatment provided by a GP be negligent?

A GP can make the following types of mistakes when treating a patient:

  • Failing to adequately examine a patient
  • Failing to perform certain tests and investigations
  • Failing to review and act upon examination/test results
  • Failing to make a home visit
  • Making an incorrect diagnosis
  • Issuing wrong prescriptions
  • Failing to consult specialists/make referrals
  • Failing to diagnose a serious disease
  • Performing a medical procedure incompetently
  • Not keeping proper medical records which impacts on the patient’s safety

The National Institute for Clinical Negligence (NICE) are putting guidelines together to advise GPs when to make certain referrals and provide certain treatment.

What are the consequences of negligent treatment by a GP?

Some examples of clinical negligence that can occur when receiving treatment from your GP include:

  • Failing to refer a patient for cancer investigations which can led to the condition progressing and the illness being harder to treat.
  • Prescribing the wrong medication which can lead to the patient experiencing side effects from the medication.
  • Failure to monitor regular medications for known side effects which can lead to organs such as the kidneys becoming damaged.
  • Failure to diagnose meningitis resulting in the condition becoming more severe.
  • Failure to diagnose and treat unstable angina, leading to cardiac arrest.
  • Failure to diagnose diabetes or effectively manage the condition which can have drastic consequences for the patient.

This list is not exhaustive and is merely an indicator of some of the issues which can arise when a GP has failed to provide appropriate treatment to their patient.

If you are concerned about the treatment that you have received from your GP please contact us today for a free, no obligation chat.