Case Study: Six-figure Compensation in Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer Case

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Georgina Emsley

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

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A Medical Negligence Claim Case Study - Client Situation

Our client who was a gentleman in his 70s, visited his GP complaining of a number of symptoms, after which he was referred to the hospital. He lived a healthy and active lifestyle, which included playing sport competitively. His referral was urgent, under the 2-week wait rule. The two-week wait rule was introduced so that anyone with symptoms indicative of possible cancer, should be seen by a specialist for further investigation within 2 weeks of the date of referral.  

Our client underwent an ultrasound scan, which identified possibility of the presence of a bladder tumour. But unfortunately, there was no further action taken following the scan. We call this a ‘missed opportunity’ for making a diagnosis. 

There were further missed opportunities to review and/or act on the ultrasound results in the following months when our client was admitted to hospital for related health issues. Our client even underwent an operation (for which he had a pre-operative assessment, determining he was suitable for the operation) with no mention of any abnormalities.

Our client was subsequently diagnosed with bladder cancer and received treatment, but as a result of the delay he was left with permanent life-changing injuries. He had to employ a carer to look after his wife who continues to suffer symptoms following a stroke, and a cleaner to carry out day-to-day cleaning activities in their home. 

If the ultrasound scan had been correctly interpreted and/or a repeat scan been ordered and/or referral for further consideration been made which would have resulted in an earlier diagnosis of the tumour and bladder cancer, our client would have been listed for urgent treatment by the end of the following month at the very latest. Sadly due to the delay, his cancer was not diagnosed for 17 months.

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How We Helped

The client contacted our Medical Negligence Solicitors for free legal advice about making a claim for compensation against the NHS Trust that provided negligent treatment to him. An Associate Solicitor who specialises in delayed diagnosis of cancer cases arranged a medical examination of our client so his injuries could be assessed, to determine the impact this had and would continue to have, on his quality of life.

We pursued the case and subsequently the NHS Hospital Trust admitted liability, accepting that more could have been done to reach an earlier diagnosis of the Claimant’s bladder cancer. After  initial negotiations, the NHS Trust offered our client £27,000.00 in compensation which we considered to be was far too low and did not accurately reflect the Claimant’s suffering, and future needs. 

The Outcome

We pursued the case further and the NHS Trust later accepted that meeting the Claimant’s care needs would be more than the original amount of compensation offered. We managed to secure a six-figure compensation settlement which we hoped would pay for the ongoing care, assistance and treatment costs for our client. The compensation has funded his ongoing care needs, as well as paid for physiotherapy, adaptations to his home (to allow him to live as independently as possible) and a full-time carer for his wife.

A delayed diagnosis will have an emotional toll on individuals and their families. The uncertainty and anxiety during the prolonged period without proper diagnosis and treatment significantly impacted our client's mental well-being and the quality of his life. 

The stress of navigating the healthcare system, coupled with the realisation of the missed opportunities for timely intervention, worsened our client’s already challenging situation. His case highlights the importance of a timely and accurate medical diagnosis and provision of treatment, not only for physical health but also for mental and emotional well-being.

How Simpson Millar Can Help You

Our specialist lawyers have years of experience dealing with all types of cancer and an array of claims arising from medical negligence. This means we can provide our expertise and tailor our service to meet your needs and specific circumstances. You can read more about how the claims process works, and how we will support you throughout.

If you believe you or a loved one has a claim for a delay in diagnosis of cancer, please get in touch with one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors to find out how we can help you. Call us on 0808 239 6043 and let us help you.


Cancer Research UK. (n.d.). Cancer Waiting Times. Retrieved from

NHS. (n.d.). Ultrasound Scan. Retrieved from

NHS. (n.d.). Bladder Cancer. Retrieved from

Simpson Millar. (n.d.). Late Cancer Diagnosis. Retrieved from

NHS Resolution. (n.d.). Claims Management. Retrieved from

Macmillan Cancer Support. (n.d.). Cancer Statistics Fact Sheet. Retrieved from

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