GP Negligence Claims Lawyers

General Practitioners (GPs) are part of the NHS, even though they are ‘independent contractors’ rather than ‘employees’ like NHS hospital doctors. It's your GP who you have most contact with and who is usually the first port of call when you have a health problem. Errors of judgement or by your family doctor can have a strong impact.

GPs must have wide medical knowledge but are also expected to use their judgment and experience to decide when to refer patients for more in-depth, specialist help. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines to help GPs provide treatment and make referrals.

A GP not following these guidelines may be considered an act of GP negligence. Examples of cases we have dealt with against GPs include failure to diagnose meningitis in infants, misdiagnosing heart problems or a failure to diagnose and delay referring a patient for cancer investigations. Prescribing the wrong medication or incorrect dose are also common grounds for making a claim.

If your health has been compromised by a serious error by your general practitioner you are fully justified in bringing a complaint or a claim. Get in touch with Access Legal's expert solicitors today to help make your GP negligence claim.

I want to know

How do I make a GP treatment claim

Most GPs are not employed directly by the NHS nor are they responsible for out-of-hours services. Claims are usually made against individual doctors, who tend to have professional indemnity insurance to cover such a possibility.

There is usually a three-year time limit to making a claim, but be aware that these can be complex, lengthy and demanding cases. The first thing to do is to contact an expert law firm like Access Legal which specialises in this sort of work.

Your chosen law firm should have relationships with the appropriate medical and other experts who can be instructed to assess your immediate health needs and suggest what treatments you may urgently require.

Every GP surgery is required to have a procedure to deal with complaints and the courts actively encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution when making a claim.

If a doctor makes serious and repeated mistakes, such as prescribing drugs in a dangerous way, you may complain to the surgery and also raise your concerns with the General Medical Council (GMC), the professional body responsible for ensuring all doctors in the UK are fit to practice.

If you feel you may have a claim, call us for a free initial consultation. Access Legal's priority will always be your health and well-being. We can give you the benefit of our experience in such cases.

How long will my GP treatment claim take

It will usually take time to get access to medical records from your GP and hospitals. We will still need to obtain medical evidence from independent experts to establish if there's a case to be answered by the GP.

We then need to obtain an informed and objective medical opinion about your current condition, what treatment and assistance you need immediately and what help you are likely to require on an ongoing basis. We also we need to take account of lost earnings if you cannot return to work and cover the cost whatever help and support you may need.

All this takes time, but is vital so that all the necessary evidence is obtained to allow us to recover the maximum amount of damages to which you're entitled. How co-operative the other side chooses to be obviously affects the time it takes to settle.

Sometimes, the other party will quickly admit liability and accept our evidence and valuation or they may deny any blame and dispute the facts. If that’s the case, we'll need to take steps in proceedings and, later on, enter into negotiations which can also take time. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until the end of the process to get help. We can often obtain early part payments to fund any immediate needs.

Access Legal will always aim to settle your case without undue delay, but our priority is your health and well-being and it will take time to ensure we achieve the best possible outcome for you.

If I have a GP treatment case

Establishing if you have a GP treatment case involves the same process as any medical negligence claim. Firstly Access Legal’s expert lawyers need to show that there was a breach of the duty owed to you by the GP.

Secondly we will need to prove that on balance (i.e. greater than 50% likelihood) it was those avoidable errors that were directly responsible for the harm you suffered.

If you have been misdiagnosed, or feel you should have received treatment sooner then you did, then you could be entitled to make a claim.

There are time limits within which you can claim so whatever your circumstances you should contact Access Legal as soon as is practicable. We can then give you free initial advice about whether a claim is possible and how it could succeed.

More about GP treatment claims

Many people remain reluctant to take legal action against a negligent GP because they fear it will sour the relationship and affect their future care. Your GP can not refuse to treat you simply because you have brought a claim against them, although you may feel more comfortable seeing a different doctor in the same surgery or changing your GP practice.

Making a claim against your GP is distressing, but if you think you may have been harmed as a result of inadequate or negligent care from your GP, you are entitled to seek an explanation and legal redress.

GP Treatment Case Study

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GP Treatment Case Study

Negligence by GP reduced life expectancy of patient with metastatic lung cancer

James Hope’s wife, Carol Ann, saw her GP about back pain and general aches. Blood tests showed that something more serious was going on. Two further blood tests showed the same abnormal results, but her GP did not arrange any further investigations.

Over a year later Carol was referred to a specialist who diagnosed here with widespread metastic small-lung cancer. Sadly Carol died.

Find out how Access Legal supported Carol's husband in his GP negligence claim here.
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'You need to have a legal team who are caring, who you absolutely trust and who will tell you the truth. Certainly from our point of view Denise Stephens from Access Legal has been absolutely amazing.'

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Access Legal is the private client arm of Shoosmiths, a national law firm with offices throughout the UK. Our best in class lawyers work with individuals and their families to achieve the best result & solve their practical problems.

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