Case Studies: Healthcare

Delay in diagnosis of cancer

O’Reilly Stewart were instructed to investigate the Trust’s failure to provide adequate follow up care and assessment, post cancer diagnosis.  Dionne Darragh acted in this case.

A serious incident investigation identified several failures in the management of our client’s care and it was accepted that she had been ‘lost to follow up.’

In light of this, we entered into early discussions with the Trust and limitation was waived generally to facilitate causation investigations.

We appointed a joint expert Consultant Oncologist to comment on the failure to diagnose and delay in diagnosis.

The expert conceded that if our client’s cancer relapse had been detected and treated at an earlier time point, essentially the progress of her cancer would have been stemmed and she may well have survived for a longer duration.

The expert considered that it was unlikely that early detection would have led to an extension of life beyond a further 6 months; however more significantly, the expert opined that our client would have enjoyed a better quality of life during her last 2 years.

Sadly, our client passed away before settlement discussions were finalised.  We continued to represent her late husband and children to resolve the claim and affidavit evidence was submitted on behalf of our late client which confirmed the practical and emotional affect the delay in diagnosis had on her and her family.

The case settled in the sum of £40,000.

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