Ms D attended a GP two days after waking with right-sided lower back pain, pain in her right buttock and right calf, pins and needles in her right foot and ankle and loss of feeling when using the toilet. The GP examined Ms D’ legs and diagnosed sensory loss but did not examine the genital or perianal areas. Issues with the sciatic nerve were diagnosed and she was told to take codeine, ibuprofen and paracetamol.
A further visit to the GP resulted in a similar diagnosis and she was told to give it more time. Ms D had not been seeing her own GP and so at the next visit, she insisted that she did. Her own GP diagnosed possible cauda equina syndrome and she was admitted to the spinal service at QMC, Nottingham on the same day. An operation was carried out on the following day.
Ms D improved significantly but did not make a full recovery and, almost one year later, she was suffering further pain and discomfort. She now suffers from bowel and bladder disfunction, lower back and leg pain, sensory and balance disturbance, motor weakness, impaired mood and fatigue. Feeling that she had received negligent care from the GP, Ms D contacted Graysons to see if she was able to make a claim for medical negligence compensation. Nikki took up her case.
Nikki pursued the GP for breach of duty, which included the GP’s failure to recognise ‘red flag’ symptoms of cauda equina, recognition of which should have resulted in more urgent surgery and a significantly better outcome for Ms D. The case was complex and involved significant effort by Nikki who had to obtain medical evidence from nine experts and collated hundreds of documents.
The GP denied negligence, but Nikki used her skill and experience in litigation and negotiation to put pressure on the defendant to engage in discussions and mediation, whilst managing the expectations of Ms D, whose condition was deteriorating.
A round table meeting took place via Skype during lockdown, enabling Nikki to progress the matter to a settlement of over £300,000 without going to court and without allowing COVID to cause any delay.
Ms D was very pleased with the assistance provided and the support given throughout the case and with Nikki’s client-focused and caring handling as well as her direct and progressive approach when dealing with the defendant.
If you believe that you have suffered due to receiving substandard care from a GP or any medical professional and you want to find out if you can claim clinical negligence compensation, contact our experts now. We will assess your case, free of charge, and let you know what the chances of success are. You can also find out more about claiming compensation for medical negligence on our web pages.
Author: Nikki Yavari, clinical negligence solicitor.