Advising with empathy and experience

Award following delay in diagnosis of parasitic infection.

The Claimant instructed the CNCI team to look at a potential clinical negligence claim against her GP surgery following care she received after returning from a holiday in Egypt.

The Claimant first attended her GP surgery in May 2011, reporting ongoing symptoms of diarrhoea. The Claimant advised her GP of her recent return from Egypt and was given advice by her GP.

The Claimant’s symptoms did not improve over the next few days however, and she therefore returned to her GPs symptoms were ongoing. The Claimant was suffering with severe diarrhoea, causing her a considerable amount of discomfort and distress. She lost a significant amount of weight and was unable to work due to her symptoms.

The Claimant returned to her GP surgery on a number of occasions but on each occasion was given the same advice by the GP, with no further investigations being offered. She was prescribed medication, including Imodium and Codeine Phosphate, in an attempt to ease her symptoms but unfortunately these caused her side effects which also made her feel unwell. At one point the Claimant did provide a further stool sample but this also came back as negative.

Eventually, the Claimant had been discussing her symptoms with a friend of hers, whose partner is a GP. The GP queried as to whether the Claimant had been tested for Giardia Parasite. This is a particular type of parasite that affects the small intestine.

On the Claimant returning to her GP surgery, they advised that they had not tested for this parasite and therefore a further test was carried out, which confirmed that she was infected. The Claimant was immediately prescribed antibiotics and, after just a couple of days, her symptoms improved dramatically. She returned back to full health a few weeks  later.

The Claimant suffered a delay of approximately 5 weeks before a final diagnosis was made, during which time she experienced significant and distressing symptoms.

This particular claim was complicated by the number of different GPs that the Claimant saw during the period in question. Considerable investigations had to be carried out in order to ascertain as to the involvement of each GP and matters were complicated by the need to liaise with all the separate GP representatives. The matter was settled without needing to issue proceedings at Court. The Claimant accepted £1,500.00 from the Defendant by way of compensation.    

Helen Caulfield of the CNCI team said “Our client suffered a short but distressing period of ill health as a result of the failure to diagnose her underlying condition.  When the appropriate treatment was provided, our client was able to make a good recovery.  The award of compensation in this matter will help our client to put this unpleasant and upsetting episode behind her”.