An NHS contractor was found guilty of medical negligence NHS after failing to correctly diagnose a tumor on a mans kidney.
A man from the northeast part of Greater London was having pain in his back and discomfort in calves and was referred to a hospital in Leytonstone in 2006. The man was seen by an Orthopaedic consultant who had the man undergo an MRI scan to examine his spine. The scan was done by a private provider and then the images were sent to a radiologist in Edinburgh. The radiologist saw no abnormalities and the man was very much relieved. He was then put on a course of physiotherapy but the neck and back pain continued.
In May 2007, the man went to see another orthopaedic specialist at the first hospital to which he had been referred. He underwent another MRI scan in December of that year at yet another hospital. Just after Christmas, he was called to come in for an urgent appointment. At that appointment, he was shown the scan which revealed that in his kidney there was a tumour, 20 centimetres in length. In addition, the disease had spread and his lungs also had lesions.
The man was completely shocked when he saw the scan and was utterly astonished, almost to the point of being speechless. It was even obvious to him where the tumor was.
In March 2008, the man had to undergo surgery to remove his kidney, adrenal glands and lymph nodes. He made a formal complaint to the first hospital which then got into contact with the private company that did the first scan. The two consultant radiologists examined the x-ray and failed to identify the growth.
The medical negligence solicitor helped the man to get compensation worth five figures due to the delay in the diagnosis. She very much wanted to help the man, particularly after he saw the scan for himself. She said that this was clearly a case of negligence as it was not until June 2011 that the hospital admitted liability for the situation.
The man advised that other patients should get a second opinion on scans when they still have some concern. A letter was written to his general practitioner saying there was nothing extraordinary on the scan and so he felt he had nothing to worry about.
In the end, how this error happened was quite unbelievable to him. In his case, it was not the hospital which was at fault but the private company that did the scan. Their response to his complaint did not include an apology and was quite unsatisfactory. Had they written to him in a more understanding manner, he would not have taken the complaint any further.
In November 2013, the man went to a rheumatologist at another hospital and another MRI scan was done on his full spine. A private medical provider checked the scan and did not say another about his lungs. This time the man asked for a radiologist within the hospital to also check the scan and this doctor found some lesions which will require chemotherapy in the future.
Sadly more and more cases like this are being seen. If you suffer from medical negligence, make sure to speak out, and seek compensation.