£300,000 Compensation after Late Cervical Cancer Diagnosis

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Joli Prifti

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

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When discovered and diagnosed early enough, cancer can often be treated. However, cancer isn’t always caught, discovered or diagnosed early. . Whether it’s due to dismissed symptoms or not going to the GP quickly enough, cancer might have already spread.

Sometimes, this can be due to medical negligence. As we will see with our case study below, symptoms can be missed by medical professionals, which cause the cancer to worsen. In addition, situations and appointments may change, causing things to be delayed. In these situations of medical negligence, we can argue that the medical professionals involved were responsible for a late cancer diagnosis.

If this has happened to you or to your family member, we’re here to provide you with the legal support and advice you need to claim compensation for the damage caused by this instance of medical negligence.

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A Medical Negligence Claim Case Study – Client Situation

We helped a man whose wife died after symptoms of cervical cancer were missed by doctors.

Our client’s late wife first began experiencing vaginal bleeding in 2012 and told her GP about her symptoms. She was then referred to Salford Royal Hospital’s gynaecology department, where it was agreed she would have surgery.

However, the procedure was cancelled on the day it was due to happen. It was agreed it would be rescheduled, but this never happened despite our client’s wife attending a pre-operative appointment in 2013.

Our client’s wife saw her GP several more times, reporting further vaginal bleeding and stomach pains. A smear test wasn’t carried out and there were delays in arranging a referral to a gynaecologist.

She was examined at Oaklands Hospital in January 2016, and it was suspected that she may have cervical cancer, so she was referred for an urgent colonoscopy. She was eventually diagnosed with Stage 4a cervical cancer and had radical radiotherapy, as well as several invasive procedures.

Unfortunately, her condition couldn’t be cured, despite extensive treatments and she received palliative therapy.

The compensation claim was very strong , as all the treatments our client’s wife went through to try and treat her cancer never worked. There was a lot of care involved, which was often expensive.

Naturally, we provided as much support and as many resources as possible to our client, making sure he was able to cope with the passing of his beloved wife as well as he could.

We can signpost our clients to organisations and support groups, among other resources, often ones that specialise in their specific issues.

How We Helped

Our client’s wife sadly passed away shortly after instructing our Medical Negligence Solicitors, and her husband asked us to continue the claim on behalf of her estate.

We took on the case, obtained and reviewed copies of her medical records. We identified a potential claim for medical negligence against both her GP surgery and  Salford Royal Hospital.

We also obtained expert evidence from a GP and an oncologist, and their medical reports highlighted several failings with her care. Our medical experts believed the GP practice breached its duty of care by not arranging a smear test and failing to refer our client’s wife back to hospital for further investigations.

Our medical experts also concluded that Salford Royal Hospital should have taken a smear test during a pre-operative assessment, and that it failed to carry out the surgery as planned, or rearrange it as promised.

Our oncology expert stated that if these mistakes hadn’t happened, our client’s wife wouldn’t have developed invasive cervical cancer and passed away when she did.

We contacted Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and two of the GPs involved in her care with details of our medical negligence claim. Following a lengthy investigation, the NHS Trust admitted liability (fault), and although the two GPs made partial admissions of liability, they disputed the claim overall.

Our claim also reflected how our client’s day-to-day life had been affected by the loss of his wife, beyond the emotional distress he was going through. The client believed he could make a loss of Services Dependency claim, because his late wife had performed many important tasks in the household.

After obtaining further expert medical evidence, a schedule of loss was prepared, outlining the amount of compensation we were seeking to achieve for our client.

Thankfully, with us in his corner, our client was able to put together a strong, solid claim for compensation due to the loss and damages himself and his wife suffered at the hands of medical professionals. We were able to look through his case and advise him on how to claim for this compensation.

Providing open and honest legal advice and answering any questions our client had, we were able to create a safe space for discussions, where he was able to air any worries or concerns about his case.

The Outcome

We made an offer of settlement to the NHS Trust, but this wasn’t accepted. However, our client was invited to attend mediation to try to settle the claim.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, mediation couldn’t be carried out face-to-face, so we worked with the NHS Trust’s legal representatives to set up mediation by using video conference.

This was attended by Simpson Millar, our client, a Barrister instructed on his behalf, legal representatives for the NHS Trust and the mediator. The legal representatives for the GPs refused to take part as they were disputing the claim.

Before the mediation, the NHS Trust’s legal representatives gave a statement, which said that since we were also claiming against a GP practice, it couldn’t be held at fault for the whole claim.

This could potentially have jeopardised the settlement discussions, so we had an open and frank discussion at the outset about the main issues. It was agreed that the NHS Trust would meet the costs of the settlement and claim any contributions they felt appropriate from the other defendants.

The mediation itself proceeded quickly as our client was deeply distressed by the events. We worked openly with the NHS Trust and a compensation settlement of £300,000 was agreed.

The NHS Trust also offered to give our client a formal written apology. This was very important to him, and reassured him that lessons had been learned which could help to avoid similar mistakes happening again in the future.

We advised our client throughout this case, including when our settlement offer wasn’t accepted, and mediation was offered. At all times, we kept our client aware of what was happening with his case, to make sure that he was never left in the dark when it came to the process.

While no amount of money will ever cover the loss of his beloved wife, our client will hopefully now be able to continue with his life, thanks to the compensation settlement.


UpToDate. (n.d.). Cervical cancer treatment (early stage cancer). UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/cervical-cancer-treatment-early-stage-cancer-beyond-the-basics

NHS England. (n.d.). Screening and earlier diagnosis. NHS England. https://www.england.nhs.uk/cancer/early-diagnosis/screening-and-earlier-diagnosis/

NHS. (n.d.). Cervical cancer: Tests and next steps. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-cancer/tests-and-next-steps/

Joli Prifti

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

Areas of Expertise:
Medical Negligence

Joli joined Simpson Millar in July 2018 as a member of the New Business Team dealing with new Personal Injury and Road Traffic Accident enquiries.

This involved collating detailed and accurate information to progress claims effectively, completing risk assessments with clients and working with them in an empathetic and supportive way.

Prior to joining Simpson Millar, Joli graduated from the University of Salford with a First Class Honours LLB (Hons) Law degree in 2018. She also gained a Distinction in her LPC and LLM from the University of Law in 2020.

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