The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has warned GPs to be extra vigilant regarding diagnosing skin cancer and treating skin lesions. The MDU indicated that it had dealt with 134 clinical negligence cases in the past 5 years regarding malignant melanoma and in more than 50 of those cases compensation was paid out to the Claimant.
The average award of compensation for these cases was £47,000 and the largest single award was £180,000.
According to research published by the Office for National Statistics diagnoses of malignant melanoma in 2008 reached 11,767. The risks of developing such cancers are 1 in 61 for men and i in 60 for women.
Kim Daniells from the CNCI team commented "Patients may not realise that a skin lesion is potentially serious. They should be encouraged to seek a medical opinion but it is critical the GPs then arrange appropriate tests and referrals".