£10,000 recovered for shock of cancer misdiagnosis

Our client, Ms B, from Maidstone, Kent, was misdiagnosed with myeloma (a malignant tumour of the bone marrow) in November 2012 during a routine consultation with a Locum Consultant employed by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

Ms B had previously been diagnosed and treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2009 and she was devastated when out of the blue 3 years later she was told that she had cancer of the bone marrow.

Ms B spent more than a week believing she had cancer with all the attendant fears and worries about the outcome before the error was corrected.  Having previously undergone treatment for cancer she knew she did not have the strength to go through it all again.  She became distressed and suicidal and was eventually diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressive reaction.

We investigated the facts and alleged that the Locum Consultant had failed to properly interpret diagnostic imaging and then prematurely communicated the diagnosis instead of having it properly confirmed by a multi disciplinary team meeting.

Court proceedings had to be issued against Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and judgment was entered after the Trust failed to file a defence.

After a short period of negotiation Ms B accepted £10,000 in damages for her psychiatric injury.

Steve Evans, who had conduct of the claim, commented:-

“I am pleased that this case settled in the appropriate way.  Ms B will now be able to move on having secured fair and reasonable compensation for her ordeal.

Busy clinicians understandably make mistakes on occasions and it is hoped that in the future the Hospital Trust will ensure cancer diagnoses are properly verified before being communicated to patients.”