It has recently been reported in the BBC news that at least 1,700 patients may have been harmed by an administrative error causing thousands of NHS patient records to be filed externally and important documents have not been read by the intended recipient.
It is understood that such documents included Cancer test results and appointments or referrals for patients who urgently needed them. Whilst investigations are still ongoing, it would stand to reason that as a result of this error, many patients may not have received the timely medical diagnosis and/or treatment which they should have and in some cases urgently required.
As a consequence of the administrative blunder there could be a lack of medical diagnosis, delay in the patients’ diagnosis, or a delay in implementing treatment, all of which are explained as follows;
A lack of diagnosis happens when a medical professional fails to identify that you are suffering from the symptoms of a particular health condition. If a diagnosis is not made quickly, your condition may develop into a more advanced stage. This could impact on your treatment options, recovery and prognosis.
A delay in diagnosis takes place when a medical professional identifies your condition, but does so following an unnecessary delay. An example of such delay may be where there has been a late referral for a patient to be seen by the appropriate medical professional for treatment. Like the other forms of misdiagnosis, a late diagnosis may impact on your chances of recovery, affect your treatment options, and necessitate more invasive treatment plans.
A delay in implementing appropriate treatment could have catastrophic effects upon the patient, such delays can affect the patients response to treatment when it is provided, affect the success of the treatment, prolong the recovery period, extend unnecessarily pain and suffering or unfortunately result in death or further serious injury being caused.
If a patient has received a late diagnosis as above, it is possible that the hospital or GP surgery has breached the duty of care they owed to their patient; and this breach caused, or at the very least contributed to injuries sustained. The above outcomes of medical misdiagnosis can increase your level of damages when bringing a civil claim for medical negligence.
If you, or a loved one, have been let down by the medical profession and suffered medical misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis as a result, please do not hesitate to contact Oakwood Solicitors for some free, confidential advice to see if you can make a claim for Medical Negligence
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