If you’ve been the victim of a GP misdiagnosis, this may mean you receive treatment for a condition that you do not have. It could also lead to a delay in treating the condition that you are suffering with. But what if you were misdiagnosed by video examination by a doctor or GP? Could this be classified as medical negligence even if they did not see you in person? And, if you are harmed by such negligence, could you make a claim for being negligently misdiagnosed by video?
Here at Medical Negligence Assist, we have created a range of guides to help those who feel they have been harmed because of medical negligence. In this guide, you can read all about the role of video conferencing in GP services, as well as learning more about medical misdiagnosis cases. Included in the sections below are details pertaining to what could happen if a doctor misdiagnoses you, how long you could have to claim for private practice or NHS negligence, and what kind of compensation could be achievable for specific injuries that could relate to a negligent medical misdiagnosis. If you are ready to begin a claim right away, or would like advice on your specific circumstances, please do not hesitate to call us on 0800 652 3087. We’re here to help.
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- A Guide On Claims If A GP Or Doctor Misdiagnosed You By Video Examination
- What Are Video Consultations By Doctors And GP’s?
- What Does It Mean To Be Misdiagnosed By A GP?
- How Do Video Examinations By Doctors Or GP’s Work?
- Why You May Be Misdiagnosed By A GP During Your Video Examination
- What Types Of Misdiagnosis Could Happen By A Doctor?
- Concerns About Doctors Carrying Out Video Examinations
- I Was Misdiagnosed By A GP From The NHS, Could I Make A Claim?
- I Was Misdiagnosed By A Private Doctor Or GP, Could I Make A Claim?
- Time Limits To Make A Claim Against A Doctor Or GP
- What Compensation Could I Claim If GP Or Doctor Misdiagnosed Me By Video Examination?
- No Win No Fee Claims For Doctor Misdiagnosis
- Contact Us Today
- Helpful Links
Have you been misdiagnosed by video examination by a doctor or GP? While video consultations could have an important place in the future of general practice, there is a lack of evidence to confirm the effects on patient safety, according to a paper from the Imperial College of London. If you have suffered harm due to being misdiagnosed via video consultation, you may be wondering whether this could have been avoided if your consultation had been in person. If you could prove that the doctor had been negligent, and this caused you to suffer avoidable harm, you could be eligible for compensation, and this guide offers some useful information about when and how you could make such a claim. Also included below is guidance on compensation payouts, information about finding a medical negligence lawyer, similar to a personal injury lawyer, who could help fight for compensation on your behalf and further resources for more information.
In recent years, the health care industry has worked to change some of its services in order for patients to access them online. Some of the services you could access may include:
- Contacting your GP online for support and advice
- Ordering some repeat prescriptions
- Viewing some parts of your health records, which could include test results, vaccinations and medicines
- Viewing some of the communications between other services, such as hospitals and your GP
- Booking appointments online
Not all GP surgeries offer the same range of services. You can check with your GP as to which services you could access online. You could then register for such services, but you would have to prove your identity before you could be given access.
Some GP surgeries offer online/video consultations. This could save you time in travelling to a GP surgery, and it may mean you have less of a wait for an appointment.
How Will My Video Examination Work?
In order to have a video appointment with a doctor, you would need to have a computer, smartphone or tablet that has the ability to capture video images. You will also need a quiet, well-lit place so the doctor can see you, and you will need an internet connection too. If you book such an appointment, you will usually receive a text or an e-mail containing the time and date of the appointment so you can arrange how and where would be appropriate for you to take the call.
A video consultation with a GP would be very similar to seeing the GP in person, in that they will ask you questions about your health in order for them to assess, diagnose, treat or refer you.
Are There Limits To Being Examined By Video?
There are, of course, some limitations to being examined via video consultation. The most obvious one would be that you would not be able to have a physical examination. In addition to this, the quality of the consultation may be affected by the strength of the internet connection and the ability of the doctor to be able to see you properly.
If you have been misdiagnosed by a GP, this could mean that the doctor in questions has identified an illness or condition that you do not have, instead of correctly diagnosing your health condition. In some cases, it may not be possible for them to reach the correct diagnosis because of mitigating circumstances, meaning it would not be classified as medical negligence. However, if their negligence has led to you being misdiagnosed, you may suffer avoidable physical or mental harm or both.
Being misdiagnosed by video examination by a doctor or GP could cause harm in two different ways. You may receive treatment for a condition you do not have. Depending on the type of treatment you undergo, this could harm you in a variety of different ways. For example, if you are given tablets for high blood pressure when you did not have high blood pressure, you could suffer ill-effects from taking medication to lower your blood pressure. The other type of harm you could suffer from a misdiagnosis could be that the condition that you do have goes untreated. This could lead to the condition worsening, and this could mean your prognosis becomes poorer than it could have been as treatment opportunities are delayed, leading to a longer period of suffering and in some cases, more invasive treatment is required.
Video examinations by doctors or GPs should prioritise patient safety, according to an article from the Royal College of General Practitioners. If a problem cannot be dealt with remotely, and a physical examination is needed, this should be arranged.
In addition to this, the guidance from the RCGP, GPs should also pre-plan their video examinations, including telling the patient what to expect from the call and how to set up their equipment to receive the video examination. When setting up their own call setting GPs should also ensure they have a good connection, a private place with good lighting in which to make the call, and they should also dress professionally. They should familiarise themselves with their setup to ensure they can be seen and heard.
The advice also calls for GPs to be careful when conducting these examinations to ensure that vital information is not missed due to lags in connection or the temporary freezing of the call. They should also ensure they listen when the patient is speaking and use verbal cues to pace the call. Before closing the call, they should summarise the important points they have covered with the patient to ensure that no important points have been missed.
If a doctor misdiagnosed you by video examination, you may be wondering how this has happened. Misdiagnosis through video examinations could occur for a number of different reasons. Some of these could include:
- The lack of physical examination – some illnesses and conditions need to be seen physically in order for them to be diagnosed. If the GP or doctor fails to refer a patient for a full physical examination for a medical issue when it could have been appropriate for them to do so, this could lead to a misdiagnosis.
- Also, private doctors may not have access to patients’ NHS health records, and because of this, they may only get fragments of information. This could provide some obstacles to reaching an accurate diagnosis.
Whether your misdiagnosis occurred due to the reasons above, or another issue, if negligence by a doctor in diagnosing you led to you suffering avoidable harm, you could be entitled to launch a claim for compensation. We could connect you with a medical negligence lawyer, similar to a personal injury solicitor, to help fight for compensation on your behalf.
There are various ways in which you could suffer a misdiagnosis, these could include:
Incorrect diagnosis – If a doctor mistakes your symptoms for another illness, this could mean you are treated for an illness you do not have. Depending on what type of illness you are incorrectly diagnosed with, this could lead to you being given medication which could adversely affect your health if you do not need it.
Failure to diagnose – If you suffer from an injury or illness and this is not diagnosed this could lead to your illness or injury not being treated. A failure to diagnose a broken bone could lead to it not healing properly, while misdiagnosed asthma could mean you suffer from breathing difficulties when you could have been receiving treatment to help you.
Late diagnosis – A delayed diagnosis could also mean that you suffer for longer than you would have done if the diagnosis was made when it could have been. If you suffer from a doctor’s misdiagnosis of cancer, this could mean you end up requiring more invasive treatment than you could have needed if the cancer had been caught sooner. It could also lead to a poorer prognosis for recovery.
The concerns about patient safety are not the only factors covered in the Imperial College’s paper on video consulting mentioned in a previous section of this guide. Other concerns relate to the impact on the workload of general practitioners.
While the paper accepts that affordable private video examinations could reduce the reliance of the general public on the NHS, it does present the concern of whether there may be increased pressure on National Health Services’ general practices due to supply-induced demand, and indeed further pressure on secondary and urgent care NHS services due to defensive practices.
If you were misdiagnosed by video examination by a doctor or GP working for the NHS, you could possibly claim for compensation if you could prove:
- The doctor was negligent in caring for you
- The negligence led to you being caused avoidable harm.
In some situations, a doctor may have misdiagnosed you even after providing a good standard of care. Some medical conditions could be difficult to diagnose, and if the doctor was not negligent in their care of you and took all appropriate actions to come to a diagnosis, you may not be entitled to claim compensation. If a doctor misdiagnosed you and you are not sure whether they were negligent or not, we could help assess your case to see if you could make a claim.
If a doctor misdiagnoses you due to negligence, and you suffer avoidable harm, you could launch a claim for compensation whether the doctor was working for the NHS or privately.
While we do not have access to private doctor misdiagnosis statistics, the premise remains the same as it would for those working for the NHS. Private doctors have a duty of care to provide you with care that is safe and effective. If they are negligent in this duty of care, and it causes you to suffer avoidable harm, you could claim compensation.
Claiming compensation for situations where you were misdiagnosed may come with some restrictions. One of these involves how long you may have to launch your claim. Similar to the personal injury claims time limit, the medical negligence time limit would usually be three years. This three-year limitation period usually begins on the day you discover you have suffered avoidable harm by being negligently misdiagnosed by a GP or doctor. There are, however, some exceptions to the limitation period. For example, if you were claiming on behalf of a child, you would have until their eighteenth birthday to launch a claim on their behalf. There are more exceptions too. If you are wondering whether you are within the limitation period to begin a claim, please do not hesitate to call us – we will be glad to advise you on how long you could have to launch your claim.
If your GP negligently misdiagnosed you, you may be looking for information relating to the potential compensation payout you could receive. Just like a personal injury claims calculator, or medical negligence calculator, we could only provide you with a rough estimate of how much your claim could be worth. This is because each claim is assessed on its own specific set of facts, so every claim is different and could lead to a different award for compensation.
We have provided some guideline amounts for certain injuries in the table below by taking figures from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines. This is annually updated and provides guidance on compensation amounts for specific injuries.
We have included some injuries that could relate to you being misdiagnosed but if your injury is not included here, please call us. We could then give you some information over the phone relating to the guideline amounts for your injuries.
|Type of Injury||Guideline Award Bracket||Notes|
|Infertility, caused by failure to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy||£31,950 to £95,850||Significant complications could lead to a payout at the top end of this award bracket.|
|Hernias||£13,970 to £22,680||Injuries that limit physical activities, sport and employment, even after the hernia has been repaired.|
|Kidney Loss||£28,880 to £42,110||One kidney lost with no damage to the other.|
|Bladder control impairment||£60,050 to £75,010||With pain and incontinence.|
|Lung diseases||£29,380 to £51,460||Frequent use of inhalers would be required by the injured party. Their future prognosis would be uncertain, but there would be marked effects on social/working life.|
|Injury causing damage to the lung.||£2,060 to £5,000||With complete recovery with no complications.|
In addition to the general damages above, which relate to your loss of amenity, pain and suffering, you could also claim special damages, which are designed to compensate you for financial harm you’ve suffered due to your injuries. These damages could relate to care costs, medical costs, travel costs, loss of earnings and more. It is vital that you retain evidence of any financial harm you’ve suffered so that you could include these damages within your claim. This could be in the form of bills, payslips and bank statements, for example.
When conducting your misdiagnosis claim with a specialist solicitor you may be concerned that you have to pay legal fees in advance of your claim being settled. This would not be the case if you chose to work with a No Win No fee medical negligence solicitor on your misdiagnosis claim.
Instead, you would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement; a document that promises your solicitor a small success fee which is legally capped, if they secure you a compensation payout. If they do not secure you any compensation, the success fee would not be payable, and you would not be required to cover the solicitor’s costs for pursuing your claim either.
This could give you some peace of mind and financial confidence to pursue your claim for compensation. We could connect you with a specialist solicitor who could take on your claim on this basis.
Getting advice and support if you’ve been misdiagnosed by a GP or doctor by video examination is easy if you get in contact with the team at Medical Negligence Assist. Not only could we provide answers to questions you may have, but we could also provide an assessment of your case to see if you could be entitled to claim compensation. This would be totally free of charge and would not put you under any obligation to use our services. If you chose to go ahead with a medical negligence claim, we would also be able to connect you with a No Win No Fee medical negligence lawyer who could help you.
There are several ways to get in touch with us. You could call us directly on 0800 652 3087 or use the Live Chat feature to get an instant response. Alternatively, you could fill out the contact form, and one of our knowledgeable team will get back to you at a time to suit you. However you prefer to get in contact, we’re ready and able to help.
General Information About Misdiagnosis Claims – Here, you can read our general guidance on misdiagnosis claims.
How Long Does It Take To Claim For Negligence? – This guide explores how long it could take to get compensation for a medical negligence claim.
Claiming Against A Private Practice – General guidance about private practice negligence claims can be found here.
Complaining About The NHS – Here, you can find information from the NHS about making complaints.
Online GP Services – Here, you can read more about how the NHS’ online services work.
Digital First Primary Care – This page, from the NHS website, discusses the provision of digital care.
Written by Jo
Edited by Lis.