Medical Negligence Claims in Scotland.

(72 Posts)
donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 04:51:28

Can anyone advise me if they've had the horrific experience of medical negligence and what was/ is the outcome? I live in Ayrshire, just got told yesterday (6/2/2014) that i have lung disease (emphysema). This was me only being told after my ct scan 10 months, yes, months ago!!! Someone in the NHS is to blame for incompetence!! My GP hasn't mentioned my results, even though i'd been asking her up til Xmas. I assumed everything was ok until an appt letter dropped through my door 2 and half weeks ago. To make it all worse, i'm getting married NEXT FRIDAY!!!!!!!! Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

MrsPixieMoo Fri 07-Feb-14 05:35:27

Don't blame the NHS. It's your fault for smoking.

Finlaggan Fri 07-Feb-14 05:55:51

nice pixie

sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I don't have any experience sorry just wanted to wish you luck.

good luck with your complaint 10 months is clearly a shocking amount of time to wait for results. were you also chasing the hospital?

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 05:58:45

MrsPixieMoo you're as ill-informed about my situation as i am - perhaps it would've been more tactful for you to ask me if i ever worked in a dusty environment years ago - and yes i did. There are too many ignorant people in this world who blame smoking alone for most diseases. Have you seen my medical records? Do you know my past experiences with NHS?? I have a letter of apology from them about their last mess they left me with. You're too quick to judge MrsPixieMoo.

Gowaygoway Fri 07-Feb-14 06:31:16

Are you a smoker?

CocoBandicoot Fri 07-Feb-14 06:42:59

So you had a scan, went on some kind of waiting list and eventually got an appointment with a consultant, who told you the results of the scan? That's normal practise! Agree that they could have told you that you were on the waiting list for the consultant, but the fact that you couldn't be seen by them for months doesn't amount to negligence.

Also, the first time you posted this you said you DO smoke confused You can't know whether it's that or working in a dusty environment which caused it - both would have increased your risk...

AngryGnome Fri 07-Feb-14 06:43:28

This must be such a huge shock for you. I am not sure that you would have a case for negligence - is there any treatment you could have Been given in the last 10 month that would have affected the outcome? Your first port of call should be PALS who can support you in investigating why went wrong; if you are not satisfied with the explanation the hospital provides then contact a lawyer specialising in medical negligence/incompetence- PALS would prob be able to help you with this too.

AngryGnome Fri 07-Feb-14 06:46:50

Also, check at the hospital/GP for local support groups for people with COPD - speaking to other people with a similar diagnosis can be really helpful.

thewizenedone Fri 07-Feb-14 06:48:24

Sorry for your situation but copd can happen many years after you have stopped smoking as it did in my fils case. He gave up over 30 years ago but was diagnosed last year. My dad had recurrant chest infections and eventually gave up smoking but the damage was done.

I dont think a claim would be upheld (I would stress I am not a lawyer)

Take care of yourself try to eat well and stop smoking now. I think its mainly managing the condition with lifestyle changes. Good luck with the wedding.

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 07:03:08

As i'm new to this site i don't know how to reply to folk on their own message to me so in answer 1st of all to nice Pixie, yes i had been chasing, nagging, phoning even the original Consultant about the results as soon as i thought they would have them - 2-3 WEEKS after the scan 10 months ago. Told by a secretery who by this time was fed up listening to me, that she didn't know much cos the Consultant i was expecting to hear from had left the hospital!!! I this time 4mths had passed, so i started asking my Surgery who has 4 GP'S, believe me, every 1 of them couldn't tell me, fobbed me off with tramadol for the back pain, antibiotics for the chest infections i had, assumed my drastic weight loss was due to the menopause.....i could go on and on. Even the original GP who referred me in the 1st place - has left my Surgery also!! And shockingly before he left, myself and hubby went into his surgery, he was totally straight and upfront stating "i suspect its cancer". In reply to Goawaygoaway, yes i smoke BUT i also worked 30 yrs ago in a textile factory when nobody knew the effects of dust, etc. I'm waiting on the Practice Manager getting back to me today cos as you can all imagine, me and hubby phoned him straight away to find out why the NHS has failed me yet again......that's another story.

ginmakesitallok Fri 07-Feb-14 07:09:59

Have you put in a formal complaint? What was the response?

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 07:14:27

Angrygnome, thankyou for advice on PALS. I haven't even reached the stage of being told yesterday what treatment i'm getting!!!! They're going to write to me when i've to go for more Xmas??!!! . And in reply to CocoBandicoot, yes i still smoke only because i assumed my original scan 10 months ago was ok as i hadn't heard from them - please don't assume i won't stop smoking, i will, when i get through my wedding day next WEEK!!!!!! Also, i DO think I have a possible claim....why?? Well simply cos if i had been told the diagnosis months ago - i'd have stopped that day. Have all these months of me not knowing my condition made my lungs worse??? I'm now dreading the tests to see how far advanced the disease has got. Thanks to all for kind wishes.x

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 07:17:34

Ginmakesitallok - i was only told this diagnosis YESTERDAY at 1.30pm. Yes, as soon as i came back from Hospital me and partner spoke to the Dr' surgery Manager. I'm waiting to hear from him today, hopefully!! He was takenaback also.

Marrow Fri 07-Feb-14 07:23:50

You want to sue the NHS because you haven't stopped smoking sooner?!! Why would it take diagnosis to make you stop smoking? Surely your symptoms alone as well as common sense make it clear that smoking is never a good idea.

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 07:32:59

Marrow, i've no intention of reading anymore posts like yours lecturing me about smoking. i originally came on here asking if anyone had advice about Medical Negligence and believe me, the NHS have already let me down before, NOT related to SMOKING!!!!!!!! I have their letter of a formal apology..........Please everyone take note, I am still dealing with the shock i got yesterday.and my wedding next week, so kindly please refrain from lectures about smoking.......hindsight is a very, very under-rated word i've discovered on here. Makes me wonder seriously how some folk on here can get through their day being so perfect??!!!

thewizenedone Fri 07-Feb-14 07:34:15

You posted on someone elses thread " had I been told 8months ago I would have given up that day". Now your saying you will give up after your wedding next week!

You need to give uo now! Your dr must have suggested giving up. (Ex smoker here and mine always did). Get some patches, e cig or whatever.

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 07:36:30

Thankyou thewizendone for your post. Yes i'll need all the luck next Friday lol. My mind is like mush right now.

londonrach Fri 07-Feb-14 07:37:21

You really think diagnosis would have made you give up smoking? I work in the nhs and seem patients on oxygen with copd still smoking. Ive seem people who had their leg off from smoking related diseases still smoking. In fact yesterday saw a lady with copd who smokes 20 a day, on oxygen (i know danagerous) saying the damage is done why stop. The damage happens over years and stopping 10 months(if you could) wouldnt have made a difference. the fact you had a scare would have made you stop if you were going to stop if it ever went to court. In my experience. Im not a lawyer though.

Good luck with your wedding

NCISaddict Fri 07-Feb-14 07:40:24

To be honest I don't think ten months will have made a difference to any of your treatment, yes giving up smoking is always a good thing and the main cause of COPD is smoking but giving up does not cure it. Exacerbations of COPD are managed in the way you describe so although I can see it is a distressing diagnosis for you the delay is unlikely to have made any difference to your prognosis.

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 07:42:58

Why am i not getting my point across about why i think i MAY have a claim??? Even if i can get compensated for the mismanagement of all the NHS staff, ie DR,s, GP's, then i'll be happy with that. Too many horror stories are appearing in daily newspapers that by the time folk get diagnosed with conditions, it's often too late as the NHS are wasting valuable time which is the difference between curing, stopping a disease getting worse, being given medication earlier, etc, etc.

ginmakesitallok Fri 07-Feb-14 07:48:56

In order to claim compensation you have to show that you have suffered a loss as a result of their mistake, and that that loss was due to their mistake. I dont think you can claim you've suffered a loss - as it was your choice to continue to smoke (and any damage will already have been caused). It will be a long expensive process, costing both you and the NHS thousands, and given that you haven't even stopped smoking now I think you'll have a hell of a job to do.

Take some responsibility for your own health

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 07:49:58

NCISaddict, i am not complaining about COPD or ANY smoking disease, i am wanting the NHS to wake up and sort out their drastic system regarding time from waiting for results, medication, tests, etc. PLEASE, PLEASE EVERYONE STOP STOP STOP assuming i'm looking for compensation for me smoking - i'm not!! I believe too many folk are dying too soon before the NHS system get's round to giving patients they're diagnosis!! Dearie me, have i started WW3 here all cos me and folk commenting are not explaining or reading my original post. The mind boggles........

londonrach Fri 07-Feb-14 07:51:57

Donna i see patients daily who have had amazing treatment on the nhs, lifes saved etc. The papers (the daily mail) tells of one or two cases ignoring all the successful treatments. If you think you have a claim talk to a lawyer! I can give you 100s of stories of patients telling me how their life was saved by the nhs. My mums life being one of them. If it ever went to court they want to know why if you had a scare why didnt you stop smoking. why are you waiting until after the wedding? Copd is caused by years of smoking.

AngryGnome Fri 07-Feb-14 07:52:09

A diagnosis like this is a terrible shock and I don't think the view that 'you brought it on yourself' is particularly helpful. None of us know the OPs medical history - yes, it is more than likely that both her smoking and her previous employment contributed to causing her condition, but have some compassion.

OP, I think you are probably reacting in shock to this news. Having been through a medical negligence case myself, I think it is unlikely that you will have a claim, but it seems to me that the hospital do have some questions to answer about the delay between your scan and your results, particularly if you were repeatedly contacting them to request results. PALS should be able arrange for you to have an initial meeting with key staff involved so that you can ask questions and understand what happened. It sounded in your last post as though they have already apologised in a letter?

ginmakesitallok Fri 07-Feb-14 07:53:07

But how is you getting compensation making the NHS wake up and change their systems?? Its just costing them more money which would otherwise be used for patient care??

ThistleLickerIsGoingToBeAMummy Fri 07-Feb-14 07:56:13

Is your condition a manageable
Condition or terminal? Sorry I don't know much about it?

Also another finding this odd, I also seen your comments in somebody else's thread reiterating you would stop there and then if u had earlier diagnosis!

But now you have diagnosis your delaying stopping smoking until next week!!! Are you going to sue the nhs for that too??? For that's your choice!!!

ThistleLickerIsGoingToBeAMummy Fri 07-Feb-14 07:56:42

Oh and fwiw u posted in aibu.... Expect harsh answers some you may not like !

poopooheadwillyfatface Fri 07-Feb-14 07:57:58

this thread wins.
Your emphysema will have been managed according to your symptoms the last ten months and having an official diagnosis will not have changed how it was treated.

you are entitled to an apology for the delay. but I strongly doubt there would be compensation as it made no difference

If you want to sue someone you need to look at industrial compensation to get it blamed on your previous workplace rather than your long term smokinghmm
good luck with your wedding.

ProfondoRosso Fri 07-Feb-14 08:03:29

Ffs, OP should have been given her correct scan results in a timely manner. Which goes for any kind of medical test.

Some test results (nothing serious, thankfully) weren't passed on to me once and I got a terrible shock. I was told I had HPV and this had been known since a previous examination. It went away on its own, but I would rather have known I had it.

OP smokes. It's not illegal. I don't know anything about claims, OP, and whether or not you have a right to one, but you should have been treated more ethically by your doctors, IMO.

londonrach Fri 07-Feb-14 08:04:09

why did i read copd not emphysema.... same answer.

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 08:07:26

Mmmm...........take responsibility for my own health??????????? I foolishly started smoking when i was 17 and that was 33 yrs ago. Smoking harm was unheard of. Maybe the NHS should take more responsibility regarding getting their patients, NON-SMOKERS ALSO, who die or are remain ill for rest of their life due to the timespan every NHS hospital farts about with crossed wired correspondence, etc. Surely even non-smokers agree with me??? No?????? Oh well, it must just be those like me who didn't know the dangers 30-odd yrs ago, then when we all were aware, we are hooked on nicotine??? What about drug addicts who are put on methadone for YEARS!!!!!!!! What about them getting special treatment in Chemists just so they can take their medicine in private?? I'll need to research this site and see if all the critics have wrote posts to them full of "it was you who took the drugs", blah, blah. I've got too much to do today to spend time telling my opinion. Please anybody who gets involved in this apparantly touchy subject, all i ask iss leave me ONLY POSITIVE advice and not rubbing it into my already fragile mind. As the saying goes, if you don't have anything nice to say - say nothing.

Marrow Fri 07-Feb-14 08:15:48

I'm sorry but if you had posted on a different board looking for support with your condition then you would have got it. However posting on AIBU with the title about suing for medical negligence is going to get a mixed response.

Thirty odd years ago the dangers of smoking were well documented and health education programmes were in place even in primary schools to educate people. I'm very sorry you have had a shocking diagnosis but instead of making excuses you do need to take responsibility for your choice to start smoking and your choice not to stop. I speak as someone who smoked 20 a day until I started trying for my first child.

Maybe try posting on the health board and not discussing compensation to get a more sympathetic response. Good luck for your wedding next week.

ginmakesitallok Fri 07-Feb-14 08:17:15

I'm not judging you for smoking - up until 7 months ago I smoked 20-30 a day. If you go down the medical negligence route you will have to prove that any damage caused was as a result of their delay in telling you your results. This will be virtually impossible as the links between smoking and COPD are well known. You will have to show that you did what you could to mitigate any losses. Given that you are still smoking you won't be able to do this. Regardless of a definitive diagnosis you obviously knew something was wrong, and surely you must have linked your lung problems with your smoking at some point?

Re drug addicts - at least those on methadone have made the positive decision to come off heroin and are on the road to recovery - you've not decided to deal with your smoking yet.

cory Fri 07-Feb-14 08:22:39

donna, there are two different questions here which do not hang together as closely as you imagine:

i) was it bad of the NHS to take so long to inform you?

yes, I think we can all agree on that; it is shocking and should not have happened

ii) do you have a reasonable chance of winning a compensation claim

this one is trickier; as gin says, to have a chance of compensation you have to be able to prove that you have suffered an actual loss because of the delay

I can only see two possible lines here:

a) *treatment could have been put in 10 months ago which would have made an appreciable difference to the longterm outcome*- this has to be proved by a doctor; if the management of your symptoms has been the same as it would have been with a diagnosis of emphysema then this falls to the ground

b) *difference advice would have made a difference to your behaviour*- this can only apply if you were not told to stop smoking at all; if you have been advised to stop smoking at any time, then this falls to the ground; the fact that you did not listen is neither here nor there; if your doctor tells you something and you ignore it that is, sadly, your responsibility

NCISaddict Fri 07-Feb-14 08:35:44

Compensation or proof of medical negligence will be dependent on the delay having made a difference to the outcome of the disease or condition, COPD is a chronic disease so is managed rather than cured so I think that YABU in thinking you have a chance at a successful claim. The delay, although distressing, will not in my opinion, have made a difference to the treatment and management of your condition.

BTW I was 16 33 years ago and I knew about the dangers of smoking but I appreciate that is not what you are asking.

Sunnymeg Fri 07-Feb-14 08:40:34

In my experience, claiming compensation for medical negligence is a very long drawn out process. I had an indisputable case, as an item was left inside me by the operating team who carried out the operation to remove a cancer. I developed problems after the operation and my chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment had to be delayed for a number of weeks whilst they found the problem, dealt with it and gave me time to recover.

It took over a year for the hospital to formally admit the error and a further two years to come to an agreement. I had to see numerous professionals to prove that my survival chances had been reduced which was not something I really wanted to hear.

To tell the truth they try to wear you down and hope you will throw the whole thing in. I am glad that I persevered but if the case was less clear cut I doubt I would have had the strength to continue.

Caitlin17 Fri 07-Feb-14 08:40:57

You really are talking rubbish when you say smoking harm was unheard of 33 years ago. I'm 5 years older than you. I have never smoked. I can't recall in my lifetime a situation where it was not known it was bad for you. "Smokers' cough" ring any bells? That's not a new expression.

MrsSeanBean1 Fri 07-Feb-14 08:43:23

I am sorry for your diagnosis. It must be an awful shock and yes, the delay in your diagnosis was not good practice and should be reported.

However, I think the time has definitely come for you to take some responsibility for your health. You should have stopped smoking years ago when you first had breathing trouble. You must have known smoking wasn't helping. Even now, after the diagnosis, you are putting off quitting again!! Sadly I think that, after your wedding, you will find another excuse to carry on smoking.

The NHS can only do so much if you don't help yourself. I just hope you haven't exposed other family members, particularly children to your second hand smoke over the years as they may be in your position in a few years time.

hairypaws Fri 07-Feb-14 08:48:23

I wouldn't bother. We had a tragedy in our family which resulted in death. Can't go into specifics for fear of being recognised but basically a massive injury was missed after a fall even after 4 visits to medical professionals. The PF was involved but in the end the family were worn down with grief and exhaustion and we gave up. A simple X-ray would have saved a life but person kept being fobbed off with pain killers.

GeraldineFangedVagine Fri 07-Feb-14 08:51:53

When you saw the consultant who told you that you had emphysema was your current treatment changed in any way because of your diagnosis? Has your care altered or a different treatment plan started since confirmation of your diagnosis? This will probably make a difference when you complain. If you want to improve services for others maybe start by contacting PALS at your hospital. Sorry you have had this bad news, have you been offered help to stop smoking? You can generally get lots of support from your gp, practice nurse or pharmacist.

Triliteral Fri 07-Feb-14 08:58:36

From Wikipedia regarding UK warnings.

"In 1971, tobacco companies printed on the left side of cigarette packets "WARNING by H.M. Government, SMOKING CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH"."

I make that 43 years ago.

With regard to negligence, I doubt you have a claim. As others have said, you need to prove that the actions of the NHS have caused you harm in some way and although you have been very frustrated by their inaction, as your illness has been treated appropriately throughout (in response to your symptoms) you are unlikely to be able to claim compensation.

I do feel, however, that you have an absolutely valid reason to complain. The length of time between scan and result sounds excessive. It may be that at least they will give you a further apology and some kind of explanation, either about what happened, or about what they intend to do to prevent it happening again. Mistakes can and do occur though, with the best will in the world.

Best of luck with your wedding and I hope you are able to find a way to stop smoking.

frogwatcher42 Fri 07-Feb-14 09:03:23

Please don't chase compensation as in the long run it doesn't help anyone and very negatively affects our society (compensation culture is really stifling activities, help etc). It sounds as if you haven't suffered long term from not knowing and so effectively you haven't lost out.

Just write a letter of complaint and insist it is investigated. Then those in the wrong get told off, procedures get put in place to prevent it happening again and you have got what you want. You will probably be apologised to so job done.

Mistakes do happen in all jobs as humans are not machines (and even machines go wrong). Accept it and insist it gets put right for others but getting money for it won't make you better in any way.

We have suffered terrible negligence (not NHS) and so many people advised us to sue, but we didn't. I did get procedures put in place to ensure the safety of others following us, but I don't believe in sueing unless there will be huge expenses such as long term care needed following the negligence (and as a direct result of the negligence).

diddl Fri 07-Feb-14 09:05:46

"I foolishly started smoking when i was 17 and that was 33 yrs ago. Smoking harm was unheard of."

Oh come on!

I'm also 50 & knew as a kid that smoking was bad for you!!

That said, 10wks between test & result is shit.

expatinscotland Fri 07-Feb-14 09:11:49

So you want money for smoking yourself to COPD, which you are still doing? For real? You want to channel valuable funding to your own self for a disease you brought on yourself?

expatinscotland Fri 07-Feb-14 09:14:45

My mother has COPD. The FIRST thing she did when she started to get short of breath, before even seeing the doctor, was STOP SMOKING. She started in 1959, when it was starting to become known that smoking was very harmful. It was WELL known 33 years ago.

Hi OP,

That must have been so stressful waiting for such a long time for your test results, especially after being told it was probably cancer. Nobody should have to go through that.

As others have said, you are probably wasting your time pursuing a medical negligence claim, although I think it would be worth getting in touch with PALS and complaining. I'm thinking of this consultant's other patients and wondering how many others might have had a delay in their treatment and whether it might have made a real difference in their cases.

I would worry about all that later though. For now, save your energy for getting through your wedding - congratulations and good luck! - and for giving up smoking. I don't blame you for waiting until after your wedding, I don't think one week will make much of a difference and I can't imagine a worse time to try and stop.

When you're ready, you might want to consider coming over to the latest vaping thread. You'll get lots of non-judgmental support.

I smoked for about the same length of time as you, tried just about every quitting method you can think of and it's only the e cig that has worked for me. It was a near effortless transition and for the first time ever I feel relapse-proof.

Does your fiance smoke? If so, you will need to ensure he is firmly on side. Ideally he should stop too and if he loves you he should be committed to not smoking anywhere near you as an absolute minimum.

DrewsWife Fri 07-Feb-14 09:32:35

I'm sorry you are going through this. But really if you have had symptoms for that long and by your own admission... Pain meds for your back other meds for your chest... You should have given up lonnnnnggggg ago.

Your wedding next week is no excuse. Yes it's horrifically stressful but it's also an exciting time.

Not every complaint is a lawsuit. Yes you could have found out sooner. But would anything have changed.

Took two years for my child to be diagnosed with a life changing condition. Two years! By which point major damage was done to her wee body. She now will need major corrective surgery in a few years. We are talking 2 new jaw joints, breaking her jaw, widening it, and, lengthening it... I didn't sue.

The reason?!!! The NHS is run by human beings. Human beings make errors. They learn from their mistakes and f everyone used what is essentially a free service.. Yes we pay taxes for it... But given my daughters meds cost £50k a year upwards... I don't pay that much!

Calm down... Have a fag hmm. But it really would just be better to have a cuppa... Quit TODAY! And forgive them and start today as day one. You know about your condition. Start doing the best you can!

We are in charge of our own life choices

MrsSippie Fri 07-Feb-14 10:09:15

I had a pretty awful experience recently post surgically due to straightforward clinical negligence. I am simply contacting PALS to ask why this happened and what can be done to prevent in happening again as I really don't want anyone to go through that. It has shaken me up very badly as ha brought back a lot of very traumatic memories of many surgeries as a child and I am struggling to cope.

However, what I want isn't a ton of cash from an already struggling NHS but acknowledgment that something happened that shouldn't have which has resulted in me changing a fair bit sad I want an explanation.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a kind of 'competitive trauma' issue going on - which is upsetting and unnecessary. If anyone feels they have been treated wrongly by any public sector body, I believe they have a right to search for answers and should expect to be treated appropriately.

cory Fri 07-Feb-14 10:20:59

OP, I'd be looking at the kind of acknowledgment that MrsSippie is talking about instead. There is a greater chance of actually getting anywhere with that and it will be just as likely to result in changes.

LessMissAbs Fri 07-Feb-14 10:28:08

In answer to your question, OP, the standard the courts apply in assessing medical negligence claims is the same in Scotland as in England and Wales and is based on the Hunter v. Hanley test. You need to prove deviation from normal practice, viz:

"First, it must be proved that there is a usual and normal practice;
Second, it must be proved that the defender has not adopted that practice; and
Third, (and this is of crucial importance) it must be established that the course the doctor adopted is one which no professional man of ordinary skill would have taken if he had been acting with ordinary care."

Larger payouts tend to be based on loss of income through being unable to work and to enjoy a normal social life, and on ongoing medical care. Claims may be reduced by up to 100% for contributory negligence.

You would also have to prove the main or prevailing cause of your loss was any negligent medical treatment, not smoking or working in a textile factory. Did any of the non-smoking ex employees of that factory go on to develop emphaseama?

The sort of questions being posed to you on here are nothing compared to the questions that would have to be answered in court. Your diagnosis could well have depended on a number of diagnostic factors, however it has to be asked whether the time of diagnosis was relevant in the fact that you claim the damage occurred more than 30 years ago and you have been a smoker for 33 years, including after your lung scan.

The NHS is horrendously busy, and they see a lot of people who perhaps don't take the care that they could for their own health. I would have thought this sort of timescale was quite standard when dealing with that type of patient. Presumably you have been suffering from symptoms for a number of years, but it did not occur to the you to stop smoking, but instead harry the medical profession who are trying to help you (more than you are doing yourself)?

I think people on here are being harsh because there are a lot of dedicated medical professionals frustrated by people like you who would like to see this sort of thing to you but cannot; there are also a lot of patients who have in no way contributed to their own disease who have to put up with longer waiting lists because of people choosing to lead unhealthy lifestyles.

The NHS is horrendously busy, and they see a lot of people who perhaps don't take the care that they could for their own health. I would have thought this sort of timescale was quite standard when dealing with that type of patient.

Really? It's quite standard to be expected to wait 10 months just for test results if your behaviour has contributed to your condition? Is it meant as some sort of punishment then? It certainly makes no sense either medically or financially.

donnakebab49 Fri 07-Feb-14 10:56:58

Well, well........i'm sorry for upsetting everyone and the few people who do understand, i appreciate. Just a few remarks to leave you all with.....for a start mostly everyone is totally not understanding what i was looking for advice with, also as far i've read, 1 person didn't even read the post correct......they wrote "10 weeks", so that just proves that person didn't even read it right. Oh and 1 last thing before i leave this website for good, is i would love to know if my diagnosis was nothing to do with smoking??????????? So please don't waste your time waiting on me answering again, cos i obviously acciddently posted the topic on wrong thread!!!

DrewsWife Fri 07-Feb-14 11:05:11

Donna i genuinely think that it doesn't matter what people think you have clearly made up your mind to sue the arse off something an remove money from a system that treats thousands daily. I too am in Ayrshire and whilst I'm sorry you have been diagnosed with a shitty illness, stamping your feet and yelling isn't going to get you ANYWHERE. My advice. Do what you want to do..

expatinscotland Fri 07-Feb-14 11:08:59

You will never know if it were unrelated to smoking because you have smoked for 33 years and continue to do so. You were having pain relief for chest and back I would bet my life you were advised by HCPs to stop smoking. I smoked myself, like a draughty lum. I would hope if I tried to sue the NHS when I, likely, get COPD I would be laughed out of any solicitor's office.

ThistleLickerIsGoingToBeAMummy Fri 07-Feb-14 11:11:18

Oh dear! I think the op now deserves a biscuit

GeraldineFangedVagine Fri 07-Feb-14 11:16:02

If your copd wasnt caused by smoking, it still wont be improved by continuing to smoke. Theres lots of help available. You are right in thinking a week wont make a massive difference after 33 years, but giving up will definately improve your breathing. Good luck op.

DrewsWife Fri 07-Feb-14 11:18:16

What does this icon mean ?? biscuit Just saw Thistle hand one out lol

FannyFifer Fri 07-Feb-14 11:22:27

Did you have to have a fag to get over the shock?

TerribleMother Fri 07-Feb-14 11:25:10

You obviously missed the several posters with extensive legal knowledge giving you solid advice then OP. You may as well go ahead and try to sue the nhs, knock yourself out. I wish your solicitor the best of luck in advising you.

Donna, even if your diagnosis had not been caused by smoking, you must know that it will only get worse if you continue.

People on MN can be very harsh towards smokers in a way that is completely understandable but is often unhelpful. There are pockets of genuine support though - if you don't fancy the ecig route, you might want to start a thread in General Health - when you're ready.

tobiasfunke Fri 07-Feb-14 11:35:15

Have a bit of bloody compassion people. Are those who smoke non-people now who should be made fun of? Of course it's scandalous to have to wait 10 months for scan results whether they smoke, take heroin, eat lard, 3 times a day or go off piste skiing every weekend. That is just awful.
The OP has every right to be pissed off with the NHS but maybe isn't directing her ire in the right way.

I thought the Op was suing them for having to wait so long for the results not because she had COPD. Suing them isn't the answer - complaining might help others.

Hazelbrowneyes Fri 07-Feb-14 11:36:13

I hate this blame/claim culture we seem to be living in.

5 years ago a nurse left me with severe nerve damage after penetrating the nerve during a blood test and not removing the needle despite me screaming in agony. 5 years on and despite extensive physio, I still do not have the full use of my left arm.

I now have serious problems with my shoulder and back as a result.

Did I think of making a claim for compensation? No. Not once. Do I look back and wish I had? No. The NHS provide us with free healthcare and I am eternally grateful for that.

I'm confused as to exactly what you're claiming for? The delay? I don't think you'll get much joy with that one but you're not going to listen to me because you're seeing £££.

The NHS can help you stop smoking, you know that, right?

Armadale Fri 07-Feb-14 11:47:14

Hi OP, first of all I think it is absolutely ridiculous that it took 10 months for the results to get to you, truly no-one could argue that is a sensible or reasonable amount of time.

I also sympathise with your frustration in chasing them up with GP's etc and getting nowhere fast, I have had experience of this and it is very wearing.

With your wedding next week, the timing here has been just awful for you and you have my sympathy.

I have some experience of upsetting treatment by the NHS as I complained about various things that went wrong when my first baby died in January 2012.

I chose not to sue because I am opposed to medical negligence claims for the NHS (excepting maintenance payouts when negligence has caused disability for example) as it takes money away from a struggling service.

I also have enough legal knowledge to realise that suing for medical negligence is a gruelling affair at the best of times.

Because of this, when I complained to the hospital I made it very clear in writing that the issues would never be the subject of legal proceedings, I simply wanted an honest look at what could go wrong and how it could not happen again.

What became clear to me is that the hospital took that as code for 'we can completely ignore Armadale, she is no financial risk to us' and just fobbed me off constantly. I didn't get anywhere and at no time was I able to have an honest, reasonable conversation with them.

Looking back on things I was very angry at their incompetence, which I had every right to be, but getting involved with the complaints procedure meant I was tying up valuable energy that I could have spent healing and resting.

I was constantly expecting a letter through the door etc, then of course I had to reply, then wait for their reply took the focus of me concentrating on myself and in retrospect I wished I had just walked away.

If I was you I would feel completely justified at being angry with them, but I would choose not to battle with them, concentrate on your health, by giving up smoking, getting fit, resting lots etc because you are more important now than anything they did.

I hope you have a wonderful wedding next week.

SlimJiminy Fri 07-Feb-14 12:39:03

It saddens me to think that someone who's smoked for 30+ years threatens to sue the NHS in relation to a condition that has most likely been caused by their habit.

You'll be getting your treatment through the NHS - isn't that enough? You should feel lucky that you didn't have to pay for the scan in the first place. Or the appointment with the consultant. Or an appointment every time you see your GP. Crap situation, yes. Is suing the NHS the answer? No.

You haven't missed a 10-month window of opportunity to quit - you've had 30+ years. Stop looking for someone else to blame. Have you stopped smoking yet?

DamnBamboo Fri 07-Feb-14 12:47:55

OP this is really not an example of horrific medical negligence.
It's obviously not great that this happened, suing them? What exactly for? What illness, loss or permanent damaged have you suffered solely as a result of their actions?

I can't see any.

LessMissAbs Fri 07-Feb-14 13:14:54

Well, OP, if you are as ungrateful to the NHS as for the legal advice I gave you, free of charge, about the Hunter v. Hanley standard of care, then I wish them the best of luck.

Most decent solicitors won't take cases on that don't have a reasonable chance of success. I always worked for decent firms and we used to turn away a fair number of clients. Legal aid is assessed in the same way.

Caitlin17 Fri 07-Feb-14 13:16:32

In order to get compensation you have to have suffered a loss or incurred damages. Posters with medical knowledge seem to think the treatment you would already be getting would be no different than if you had been told earlier.

Even if you had suffered loss you have in legal terms the concept of "contributory negligence"to factor in. You will have been told by the health care professionals to stop smoking. You can get assistance with that on the NHS. You chose to ignore that advice.

You might be entitled to an apology for the delay but that's about it.

As I said I'm 5 years older than you. At my perfectly ordinary Scottish state school in secondary year one in the early 70s as part of general sex/health education I was told smoking was bad for my health.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 07-Feb-14 13:25:02

What a load of bollocks.
You started smoking 33 years ago and you didn't know it was harmful then? You either lived in a cave or you're lying.
You also say it's about making the NHS give results in a timely manner. After saying you want compensation, even if only for the delay.
You say you'd have stopped immediately if given the diagnosis sooner, yet you haven't now (whatever crap excuse you're using).
Each and every one of these lies is so frustrating, even more than the fact you expect someone to compensate you for your lifestyle choices.
Whilst I wouldn't wish your diagnosis on you or anyone, frankly, your attitude to the surrounding details is disgusting.

diddl Fri 07-Feb-14 13:31:39

I wrote 10wks by mistake.

I had read your post correctly.

Even a 10wk wait is unnacceptable.

Shonajoy Fri 07-Feb-14 13:32:20

The NHS said my smear had mild abnormalities. If I'd listened I'd be dead, I had a 4cm tumour and major surgery (privately). I wrote to make them aware of what had happened, but I'd never consider taking money from an institution which is the only source of care for some people, does a good job in many cases, and it struggling financially.

I wish you the best but I'd save your energy for keeping as well as you can x

MrsSippie Fri 07-Feb-14 13:56:02

If I was incredibly nasty, I would be suing the arse off the NHS for putting me through 18 years of unacceptable pain and surgery as an 'experiment' which failed - and when it did fail and no more could be tried on me, when i was 18, they washed their hands of me and crowed about how clever they'd been putting a little girl through shit so they could write about it and travel the world with photos of me. This may sound a little hysterical, but even the consultants I have been seeing lately agree that this is what happened.

However, what would be the point? It won't take away what happened and it won't make me 'better'.

I was a smoker for 30 + years too, luckily (touch wood) I seem to have escaped with no problems but if i had, then i'd be kicking myself not the hospital for telling me I was ill! I understand it's the delay you are concerned with, but unfortunately in some cases, that seems to be the NHS today.

Mrsmorton Fri 07-Feb-14 15:43:49

There has been no negligence, you might be watching too much daytime tv. Even if 33 years ago, you didn't realise smoking was bad hmm there may have been a couple of information campaigns since then to let you know... Stop looking for someone to blame.

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