Delays in Treatment Cause Death of Cancer Patient


A report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has found that a man died from operable cancer after an NHS trust failed to act on advice from another hospital.

Delayed treatment can be life threatening

Medical Negligence Solicitor Daxa Patel explains what happened in this case and looks at other failures in care identified by the PHSO.

Failing to Act Quickly Enough

Peter Filipovic, aged 62 and from Kent, had been referred to King's College Hospital in London for surgery after a small pancreatic tumour was found by doctors at the Medway Maritime Hospital.

Despite suspicions of pancreatic cancer, doctors at King's hospital looked into other causes of illhopitalness – his wife said doctors at the London hospital initially told the family he did not have cancer. They only recognised he had cancer 6 months later when Mr Filipovic was suffering jaundice, could no longer walk and had lost 6 stone. Sadly, by this point the cancer was too advanced for chemotherapy and he was too unwell to go through surgery.

His wife, Mrs Filipovic, complained to the PHSO, who decided that King's hospital had "failed to act quickly enough" and his family has received "confusing and contradictory" information. King's hospital has since issued an apology and given Mrs Filipovic £1,500 for failing to give her husband the best chances at survival.

Amongst Many Other Medical Mistakes Investigated

This case is just one of many mistakes made with tragic consequences. There are other instances where patients have been let down by the NHS according to the PHSO:

  • Two GPs in Cheshire failed to diagnose a woman with deep vein thrombosis, of which she died unnecessarily.
  • A woman committed suicide after being discharged despite her history of suicide attempts – it was found Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust had missed chances to stop this.
  • They found Great Ormond Street Hospital had missed opportunities to treat a 2 year old child, resulting in the child's death.
  • The Chesterfield Royal Hospital failed to do a pregnancy scan which could have saved the life of the baby and the mother was treated with a lack of care and compassion during the delivery of her stillborn child.

Daxa comments:

"Whilst there is no doubt that in most cases the NHS still renders the best possible care, instances involving delay in diagnosis or indeed delay in treatment can and must be avoided."

Medical Negligence Experts

Hospital negligence can have devastating and tragic consequences – seeking legal advice can go some way towards finding out who was responsible and preventing these mistakes happening again in future.

Simpson Millar's Medical Negligence team are known for supporting victims and their families with even the most complex misdiagnosis and negligence cases.

To find out how we could help you please make a no-obligation enquiry or call freephone: 0808 129 3320.

News Archive

Get In Touch