I am often amazed at how many GP negligence enquiries we receive. As far as I can see, in order to escape liability, a GP need only do one of two things: 1. make an appropriate referral; or 2. run appropriate tests.
I appreciate a balance needs to be struck and GPs cannot refer every patient who attends the surgery. However, I was shocked at the incompetence of the GP in this particular case:
I am instructed by my client, a middle age man, with a history of smoking obesity and stress. He attended his GP repeatedly complaining of sweating, tightening chest and pain in his left arm. The GP repeatedly told him that it was merely anxiety. On the final attendance, my client had an "episode" in the surgery waiting room where he was doubled over from chest pain. It was one of the last consultations on a Friday evening and despite the surgery being equipped with an ECG machine, my client was told there was no nurse available to perform the test and a routine appointment was scheduled for the following week.
Over the weekend, my client had a heart attack and was rushed to hospital where surgery was performed. Thankfully, he survived, but our expert has confirmed that with an ECG and appropriate referral on the Friday evening he would have avoided the heart attack, avoided the surgery and been treated with medication. The heart attack has weakened his heart and reduced his life expectancy by 2-3 years.Iona Millais is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email email@example.com and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.