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Medical Misdiagnosis
or Delay

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    Top class service.

    Absolutely top class service with my late mother’s hospital negligence claim. Professional sympathetic staff who so far have kept me in the picture and continued to update me from day one. Highly recommended!

    - Lisa Chambers

    Explained everything and stayed in touch.

    Oakwood have explained everything regarding my medical negligence claim. They have stayed in touch, returned calls and taken my information in detail and anything I have remembered after the fact they have also taken that down in detail too.

    - Phil Mc.

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    The experts in Medical Negligence Claims

    Oakwood Solicitors Ltd’s specialist Medical Negligence department has an in-house team of solicitors and legal professionals dedicated solely to this area of law.

    With over 30 years of combined experience, we are dedicated to assisting clients who have suffered physically, mentally, and financially as a result of negligent medical treatment. The specialist team pursues an array of medical negligence claims ranging from prescription errors and misdiagnosis to complex birthing injury and spinal claims and everything else in between.

    What is medical misdiagnosis?

    Alongside delayed diagnosis, medical misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of medical negligence claims:

    Medical misdiagnosis (incorrect diagnosis or failure to diagnose) is when a medical professional provides an incorrect diagnosis or fails to diagnosis you after negligently misinterpreting your symptoms and/or not investigating your symptoms appropriately.

    If you have received an incorrect diagnosis, you may have undergone unnecessary treatments or procedures. Further to this, particularly in relation to a failure to diagnose, your condition may go untreated, or its treatment may get delayed, meaning that you may require more invasive treatment in the future.

    What is delay in medical diagnosis?

    Here a medical professional fails to a diagnosis a health condition when they should have done or fails to refer you for investigations, meaning you are diagnosed late. This can again lead to a worsening of the condition and prolong your period without necessary treatment.

    This can encompass delays in referrals, scans and other investigations. It can also include medical professionals overlooking symptoms or records that are re-reviewed at a later date and urgently acted upon once the delay has been identified.

    Where might misdiagnosis or delay occur, and with what conditions?

    Medical misdiagnosis and/or delay can occur in all areas of medical practice. However, are very common in the following settings:

    1. GP Negligence
    2. A&E Negligence
    3. Dental Negligence
    4. Hospital Negligence
    5. Surgical Negligence

    Furthermore, medical misdiagnosis and/or delay can occur in diagnosing any medical conditions however are very common in the following medical conditions:

    1. Orthopaedic issues such as fractures and cauda equina syndrome.
    2. Cancer
    3. Diabetes
    4. Heart attacks
    5. Strokes
    6. Infections
    7. Meningitis

    Medical misdiagnosis and/or delay can severely affect an individual’s life, treatment options, recovery period and in more serious cases the chance of survival.

    If you have been given the wrong medical advice or course of treatment which has left you in a debilitating condition, you may be eligible to make a medical misdiagnosis and/or delay claim.

    Recent news within the NHS

    Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic but even more so following the same, medical misdiagnosis and delays in treatment appear to be getting more frequent as the NHS appears to be struggling to cope with the increased pressures due to both financial cuts and staffing levels.

    As a result of this, more and more people are receiving the incorrect diagnosis or there are significant delays in diagnosis and treatment, leading to a deterioration in health.

    As a result, many patients are turning to private healthcare but due to the expense of the same, this is not maintainable for most.

    See the below articles for an explanation of ongoing developments within the NHS and how they may affect you:

    Junior doctors’ NHS strike

    Mothers denied gas and air during labour

    Dental patient awarded £20,000

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I make a claim?

    If you feel that you have been affected as a result of late diagnosis or incorrect or inappropriate treatment, then you may be entitled to bring about a claim for compensation.

    The team at Oakwood Solicitors Ltd will be able to give you free advice on the prospects of your case and whether you would be eligible to make a claim.

    Who can bring about a claim?

    The patient who has been affected may be able to bring about a claim. However, it can also sadly be the case that the patient has passed as a result of the disease. In such instances, the executor of the estate or the next of kin/dependents may be able to bring about a claim.

    Our specialist team will be able to discuss whether you have a right to bring about a claim, so if you or a loved one has been affected do not hesitate to contact us.

    How long will my case take to run?

    Given the complexities involved in pursuing clinical negligence claims, they can often take 18-24 months to conclude and longer if court proceedings have to be issued.

    Our investigations start by obtaining all relevant records and protocols before approaching independent medical experts for their opinion. We will provide you with regular updates on the progress of your case to ensure that you are kept up to speed.

    How much is my claim worth?

    It is often difficult to value clinical negligence claims at their outset given the complexities involved however we will pursue two forms of compensation for you:

    • General damages – an award of money for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the negligence.
    • Special damages – an award of money for all of your out of pocket expenses such as travel expenses, medication costs, loss of earnings, treatment costs both past and future. This list is not exhaustive and is very case-specific.

    How is my case funded?

    The majority of clinical negligence cases are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), more commonly known as a ‘no-win, no-fee’ agreement. This means that there will be nothing to pay upfront and nothing to pay if the claim has been lost. If you are successful in your claim, a deduction of 25% of damages will be taken to cover the success fee and the shortfall in legal fees.

    It may also be the case that an After The Event (ATE) insurance policy will be obtained to cover the costs of expensive medical reports and investigations. If an ATE insurance policy has to be obtained the cost of the same will be discussed with you at the appropriate point.

    The cost of the ATE insurance policy is again taken from your damages and only payable if you are successful with your claim.

    Why should I choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd?

    We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running cases of this nature. They are highly trained to deal with all aspects of clinical and medical negligence.

    Oakwood Solicitors Ltd wishes to ensure that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon or medical terms that they don’t understand and aims to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.

    Case Studies

    Delayed diagnosis

    The claimant sustained a broken finger whilst participating in a sports activity. At hospital a Buddy Strap was applied but this wasn’t aiding the Claimant, as he continued to experience considerable pain and severe swelling.

    Additionally, the diagnostic imaging was not reviewed by an Orthopaedic Specialist within the 48-hour timeframe, as it would be considered reasonable and was not reported until 10 days later.

    The claimant returned to the hospital A&E department and underwent further radiology. The results revealed a ‘displaced proximal phalanx complete dislocation’. This led to further examination and radiology by a hand surgeon, and it was determined the Claimant would require an open fixed reduction, where a cast was applied, and he was discharged the same day.

    A follow-up appointment revealed the manipulation was unsuccessful and a K-wire was required. After removal, the Claimant underwent several months of hand therapy with lack of progress. The Claimant’s finger remains painful, and now struggles generally with everyday work tasks such as writing and typing.

    We successfully settled this claim and obtained the claimant £20,000.


    The Claimant attended an antenatal booking assessment with the community midwife. It was noted that she had had two previous uncomplicated low-risk births.

    The Claimant attended a planned antenatal appointment with the community midwife. Upon examination, the midwife queried whether the foetus had entered a breech position. The fundal height was not measured or recorded on the GROW chart.

    2 days later, the Claimant attended the Antenatal Day Unit. She was at 38 weeks + 6 days gestation and was attending for a further scan to review the foetal position. There was no evidence to indicate the Claimant was assessed by a midwife, nor was there any indication that any standard antenatal checks were performed.

    3 days later, the Claimant arrived at the Maternity Unit. She was examined by a midwife after 5 minutes. The SFH was plotted on the GROW chart at 35cm which was considerably below the 10th centile. The foetal presentation was confirmed as cephalic with the head engaged in an occipito-posterior position, but the midwife was unable to auscultate the foetal heartbeat with a handheld Doppler.

    The Obstetric Registrar was asked to attend. A portable ultrasound was performed which was unable to identify foetal heart activity. The conclusion was that there had been an intrauterine foetal death (“ IUFD” ). To confirm the diagnosis, an ultrasound scan was requested in the Radiology Department. The scan was performed later that afternoon.

    Defendants attempted to settle this matter at £15,000. However, Oakwood Solicitors‘ expert negotiating team secured settlement at £35,000.00.

    These case studies are from a selection featured here on our website.

    Please note that all cases are unique. Due to individual circumstances you can never compare even two seemingly identical cases and expect the same results in either outcome or award.

    What do I do now?

    If you believe or feel you have a claim, contact us for a no-obligation consultation regarding your options:

    Carol Cook
    Carol Cook — Head of Medical Negligence Department

    Carol joined Oakwood Solicitors in May 2017 to lead the Medical Negligence department. She handles a wide range of Clinical and Dental Negligence claims and has a specialist interest in Birth Injuries.

    Carol has years of experience in handling complex clinical and Dental Negligence claims securing substantial amounts of damages for her clients. Carol studied her law degree (LLB honours) at Salford University.

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