Amy's Story: Delay in Cancer Treatment
Amy had been suffering symptoms including coughing and a sore throat during mid to late 2011. There was no abnormality detected when she attended the hospital in November 2011 and she was discharged. Amy attended the A&E Department again at the end of November 2011 with an 11 week painful and swollen throat and coughing up bright red blood. The impression was that of reflux. By mid December 2011 she was also suffering from weight loss and she was booked in for blood tests and a scope. There was then a delay during which Amy appears to have been “lost in the system”. She then finally underwent scoping and biopsy at the end of March 2012 and at the end of April 2012 received a diagnosis of throat cancer.
An expert in cancer treatment was instructed to report on the case. Our expert’s opinion was that the hospital had breached their duty to the Amy and although, the outcome was unlikely to have been any different, a cancer specialist found that she had suffered pain, unnecessarily during the period in which she had been “lost in the system”. A Letter of Claim was submitted to the NHS Litigation Authority/Hospital Trust as a result of that report. The Hospital Trust denied that delay had caused any symptoms. The expert in cancer treatment commented that she had suffered unnecessary pain and suffering whilst passing so slowly through the diagnostic process. As a result of further expert commentary an offer was made and the NHS Litigation Authority concluded the claim in damages in the sum of £6,500.00 to compensate for the short period of additional and unnecessary pain caused by the delay in treatment.
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