In April 1995, Frank contacted his GP following several episodes over the previous year of severe headaches accompanied by loss of or muddled speech. His GP referred him to a neurologist.
In view of the waiting time on the NHS, and the fact that Frank had a further attack whilst waiting for an appointment, he decided to see a neurologist privately and contacted Dr Jackson.
Frank was seen by Dr Jackson on 19 May 1995. He described his past medical history (a brain tumour in 1974 for which he had had radiotherapy and a permanent shunt inserted) and the onset of his current symptoms. After a brief examination, Dr Jackson told Frank it was a migraine and arranged to see him in his NHS clinic on 3 July 1995.
In the meantime, Frank’s condition deteriorated. Dr Jackson confirmed the migraine diagnosis when he was examined him on 3 July. He suggested review in a further 3 months time and that a CT scan be performed a week before that review appointment.
Frank's wife was unhappy with this diagnosis and instead arranged for a CT scan to be performed on the NHS on 20 July 1995. The scan showed that Frank had a benign brain tumour.
Frank had successful surgery to remove the tumour at the Royal London Hospital on 11 August 1995 and has since made a full recovery.
Proceedings were issued against Dr Jackson for failing to arrange an urgent CT scan at the first appointment on 19 May 1995 on the basis of the history and symptoms. The claim was for damages for the pain, suffering and loss of earnings during the two month period in which the tumour had been allowed to grow.
Dr Jackson strongly denied liability. Evidence was exchanged and the trial fixed for 3 June 1998. Very shortly before trial, the defendant entered into settlement negotiations and on 29 May 1998 Frank accepted £6,000 compensation for the delay in diagnosing his brain tumour.
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