Delayed diagnosis and treatment of Paget’s disease

Katie Nairne, specialist clinical negligence lawyer, has recently settled a claim relating to delayed diagnosis and treatment of Paget’s disease.

Paget’s disease is a chronic condition which can cause enlarged and misshapen bones. It is easily diagnosed with a blood test and, whilst there is no cure, the condition can be successfully managed with medication (bisphosphonates). Patients with Paget’s disease are usually treated by Rheumatologists.

Davies and Partners were instructed by Ms C in a claim against her GP for failing to refer her to a Consultant Rheumatologist when she developed signs of Paget’s disease.

Ms C had undergone a bone scan at hospital relating to facial pain, which suggested there was thickening of the skull bones. The hospital wrote to the GP and specifically requested a referral to Rheumatology, but no such referral was made.
There were a further four occasions where the GP was prompted to refer Ms C to the Rheumatologists but failed to do so. Ms C was eventually seen by a different GP two years later, who immediately made the referral. Paget’s was promptly diagnosed and treatment commenced which eased Ms C’s symptoms of headaches and facial/dental pain.

Evidence was obtained from a GP expert, who confirmed that the failure of Dr S to refer Ms C to hospital amounted to unacceptable care. Further evidence was then obtained from a Rheumatologist expert as to the likely timescales for tests, diagnosis and treatment which would have halted the Paget’s Disease and alleviated Ms C’s symptoms.

The Defendant GP denied liability for negligence, which necessitated the commencement of Court proceedings to take matters further. After proceedings were served on Dr S, negotiations took place and the claim settled for £10,000 damages.

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