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Case Study

Social Worker receives significant compensation following delay in diagnosing her ectopic pregnancy at Royal Berkshire Hospital

Mark Bowman was instructed by Nikki, a Social Worker for Reading County Council, following a delay by her GP in diagnosing her ectopic pregnancy

In May 2011 Nikki believed that she was pregnant. She attended her GP surgery and a blood test confirmed the pregnancy. This was later confirmed by a blood test taken at her local GP surgery.

On 16 June 2011 a routine ultrasound scan revealed no intrauterine sac but a repeat pregnancy test was positive. Between 20 and 29 June 2011 Nikki started to bleed and attended her GP surgery for a repeat blood test. The test revealed that she was still pregnant.

In view of further bleeding over the following week Nikki re-attended her GP and a further blood test was performed. The results of the blood test were suggestive of an ectopic pregnancy but Nikki was wrongly told she had suffered a miscarriage.

On 22 July 2011 Nikki started to suffer from very sharp pain in her stomach and attended her GP surgery again. She was told that the miscarriage was now over but that she was suffering from endometriosis.

In fact, on 23 July 2011 the pain in Nikki's stomach worsened significantly, and on 24 July 2011 she collapsed at home, and was only saved by the fact that she was being visited by friends, who arranged for her to be taken by ambulance to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

The gynaecology team at the Royal Berkshire Hospital diagnosed an ectopic pregnancy and Nikki required an urgent salpingectomy to remove the affected fallopian tube. Nikki was discharged three days later.

Instructions were received to pursue a case against the GP for failing to correctly diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. It was argued that with earlier diagnosis Nikki would not have required such significant surgery nor would she have suffered the psychological trauma of collapsing at home. Due to the type of ectopic pregnancy that she suffered from, the fallopian tube would have required removal with prompt diagnosis.

Following receipt of our Letter of Claim, the GP's legal representatives made a substantial offer of compensation which Nikki was happy to accept.

Mark Bowman was instructed by Nikki after her distressing experience. The claim centred on whether the standard of care provided by the defendants was a breach of duty which Mark was able to successfully argue, securing a settlement of £15,000. Nikki was thankful for Mark's help and support during this difficult time.

At the end of the case Nikki said

"Mark, I just want to thank you for guiding me through what has been a most difficult period in my life. I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone that needed your services"

Contact us

For further information about GP negligence claims and medical negligence claims, please call Mark Bowman on 020 7861 4043 or email mark.bowman@fieldfisher.com.

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