Widow wins compensation after hospital delayed diagnosing husband’s terminal cancer

Our client, a woman from Canterbury, Kent, lost her husband in May 2011 after he was diagnosed with renal cancer.

During the diagnostic process the deceased was given conflicting advice as to whether he had cancer.  Initially he was advised that he probably had cancer. He was then informed that the results of his scan had no pathological significance. There was further false hope after discussions within a multi disciplinary team meeting gave him the all clear. This tragic confusion resulted in the deceased’s diagnosis being delayed by 9 months and he died believing that the delay had prevented him from being given curative treatment.

A claim was brought against East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust who admitted delay and apologised for what happened.  However, the Trust failed to offer any compensation and it was necessary to issue Court proceedings seeking compensation for the deceased’s psychiatric injury and increased physical suffering before the correct treatment was commenced.

The claim continued to be defended until two months before trial when the Defendant agreed to pay our client £12,000 in compensation.

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

“Having admitted breach of duty the Hospital Trust inexplicably failed to offer compensation when it was obvious that the deceased died believing incompetence had prevented his chance of recovery. An interesting aspect to the case was proving that he had been caused psychiatric injury based on medical records and his family’s account after his death. 

Our client fully deserved to be compensated having promised her husband to find out what happened.  It is hoped that in future, in similar circumstances, the Trust will offer more timely compensation.”