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GP reaction to possible negligence claim

(38 Posts)
LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 17:36:04

I moved GPs and may have a negligence claim with the previous GPs. I left after making a complaint about them not referring me to the hospital with something serious and not checking my notes to see I had a previous condition causing it.

The new GP had been a bit strange about it. I just said I'd had a difficult experience previously and was just looking to have good treatment in the future and if possible to refer me with a letter in future due to the previous experience.

I wasn't asking for an opinion on it but she started saying that they were 'on my side' then at the next appoint she had changed and told me off, 'what was I doing trying to make a fuss' and 'what did I think, I'd get good treatment just turning up at A and E'

She didn't seem to believe I was having problems caused by the previous treatment and refused to refer again I ended up going to hospital.

I am so upset as I wanted to try and regain trust with the doctors after what had happened previously. I don't understand why she reacted in this way- she also said something about how they'd been advised they still had a duty of care towards me and they should see me how I am on the day. I'm unsure about this- I am a patient like any other with a medical history.

I would appreciate any advice, am unsure about making more of a 'fuss' by complaining about her, or indeed changing GP again sad

fairbalance Sat 01-Mar-14 18:06:29

What did they mean they should how I am on the day? Did they mean they should give you an emergency appointment rather than A&E?

If they have been advised they a duty of care it looks to me like they have taken legal advice.

It may be good idea if you phoned a Solicitor for just initial advice re negligence issue.

LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 19:13:29

I'm not sure.. I was too upset to clarify it.. I know the solicitor sent a letter to the surgery asking for records telling them it was not a claim with their surgery but the previous one.

I have since decided not to do the negligence claim as it seems too stressful if this is the reaction.

LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 19:15:10

The solicitor thought it did look negligent and wasn't too happy we have pulled out

3littlefrogs Sat 01-Mar-14 19:16:59


Please make an appointment with the practice manager and talk it through.
Then you will have an idea as to whether you want to stay with this practice.
I wish more people would complain when things go wrong. The majority of doctors are conscientious and do their best , but there are a few that really need to learn from their mistakes.

Newyearchanger Sat 01-Mar-14 19:17:26

Just be as straightforward as you can about everything,and keep it simple.
Just make appts when you need them health wise and try to convey on that day if you will be led by them, or if you want a new specialist referral, or an expedited referral or to be admitted.

It's not that complicated , just be clear and pleasant and don't go into past events.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Sat 01-Mar-14 19:19:32

a no win no fee solicitor? If so then yes, they will be.

I have experienced this when my son almost died during birth as a result of negligence.

The back covering and closing ranks was extraordinary.

I am not saying this always happens, but it does happen.

3littlefrogs Sat 01-Mar-14 19:26:53


I believe you. sad

LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 19:29:00

Yes it was 'no win no fee'. They have let us pull out if we pay their costs so far (just medical records). However there would have been no charge to continue, due to their insurance.

Yes I am trying to keep things simple. The new GP knows I had to go in again as an emergency and have another operation. I called and asked for a new referral via 'choose and book' for a new surgeon and that has been granted.

It is a practice with several doctors so i will not see that one again, I have decided. I saw another one this week who seemed OK and have been recommended to him by a friend.

I wish it was all a bit easier. After the previous treatment I was hoping for some understanding, not this.

LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 19:31:33

I'd be really interested to hear any GP's views on this...

Newyearchanger Sat 01-Mar-14 19:31:58

There's a limit to what they can say or do... Try to believe in them while at the same time go with the dr who seems the most hands on.

Newyearchanger Sat 01-Mar-14 19:32:42

They won't want to discuss the previous issue probably .

LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 19:33:39

Yes I nearly died also sad

LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 19:36:34

OK so after the last op the hospital has written to the new GP saying 'we must try to reduce the severity of these incidents' (at the end of the letter)

Hopefully the GP will read this.

KarenBrockman Sat 01-Mar-14 19:42:51


I believe you and OP.

I haven't complained about my old GP, I plan to in due course. I have made some complaints about community health and at the hospital. I have had a mixed bag of responses.

What was interesting was I put in one complaint myself and my child put in one complaint, two different people dealt with it and their responses contradicted each other.

I would change GP, OP. Don't mention to the new one you have had problems in the past, this time.

Newyearchanger Sat 01-Mar-14 19:59:07

Yes, the new GP can't help with the claim and its not really anything to do with them either.

LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 23:42:31

Thanks for the comments. No, I didn't want them to help with the claim, just to help me with the problems I was having as a result. I guess I might change again.

Yes Karen, I had a response from the hospital which was pretty dismissive. It doesn't give much faith in them for the future tbh.

LovelyBath Sat 01-Mar-14 23:44:15

ISeeYouShiver I hope your ds is OK now. Did you find it hard to get treatment after the negligence? this is the worst thing.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Sun 02-Mar-14 09:25:31

He is, thanks. He's 14 now. Taller than me (which isn't hard, but still...)

What happened was he got stuck during delivery, something called shoulder dystocia. Instead of performing the standard manoeuvres, the doctor pulled him, while screaming help me, help, I need help... and she pulled so hard that she caused nerves to be damaged, resulting in leaving him with partial paralysis. (erbs palsy) The midwife did then push her out of the way, push the siren and dealt with it, but by then my son was in a bad way. He was resuscitated and then started breathing.

Notes were written retrospectively to try to make the situation sound different, other notes were 'lost', the doctor 'disappeared' (the hospital claimed to have simply no idea where she was, only that she had left the hospital and they had no record) etc etc

He's had 2 operations and now has all the function he's going to have. There's nothing more that can be done to increase that.

He was awarded the best part of £300,000 in compensation, which is in trust for him.

We found the hospital itself to be dire. They were so concerned with covering their arses that the midwife who promised to come and see us to explain what had happened was never seen (by us) again. (I was in with him for a week, due to his injuries and the fact I haemorrhaged and I never set eyes on any of them). The doctor who first looked at him said that he had a bit of bruising and it would settle down...

It was quite some time before we even heard the words erbs palsy.

That hospital and anyone directly connected with it shut down on us, closed ranks and saw us as the enemy, rather than our son as a victim of their employee's incompetence.

But everyone outside the hospital - other hospitals, gp, etc, they were all fine in treating him. He has always got what he needs - his operations, his physio, he gets assessed for aids, etc. We learned to never mention the legal action to them though because we'd just get patronised and treated to excuses. Even though they weren't there and didn't know exactly what happened. The default was always to try to find some reason why the doctor wasn't wrong. hmm

KarenBrockman Sun 02-Mar-14 11:55:11

Yes they do try to cover it up and close ranks, see you as the enemy. It makes a mockery of the do no harm, it is all about them, their career and their mortgage at the end of the day.

I noticed that a lot too, people retire, go on gardening leave, get moved to another department and so on.

Anatana Sun 02-Mar-14 12:04:01

In my experience no doctor will put a patient above another doctor. They always close ranks. DH has experienced several severe incidences of negligence - one doctor actually gave him a massive drug overdose and he had to be resuscitated, and that is not the worst thing by a long way. He was born with disabilities so has long experience in this area.

We have never been supported by the NHS when a doctor is to blame. We have a lovely GP now, she's really really good, but even she completely shut us down when we tried to talk to her about the serious malpractice of her practice partner. Social services also close ranks - our local social services closed their neglect case into our old GP when the offending doctor rang them and told them DH was a drug addict with nothing wrong with him (not true, he has a broken neck).

Anatana Sun 02-Mar-14 12:05:11

DH was also systematically starved on the ward when he complained. It's common practice IME.

KarenBrockman Sun 02-Mar-14 12:16:01

I changed GP and our notes have gone missing, it has been months now and they seem to have disappeared. I put in some complaints the GP knew about before I moved surgery. I have had my notes copied and sent for a car crash with a solicitors firm, silly GP probably doesn't know this.

How long is the maximum I should wait before trying to get our medial notes missing getting looked into?

Newyearchanger Sun 02-Mar-14 12:59:23

There is some confusion here about being closed down and closing ranks.

No Dr , GP or otherwise, is going to go through a complaints issue with you about another Doctor... I don't see how that would help and is not recommended as they don't have all the info and it is being looked into by someone else. It is a complaints procedure which will go to the consultant alone, is dealt with by the Trust and if need be the GMC.
Doctors may disappear from the surgery pov however if there were a GMC issue, the GMC will find them.

A lot of random accusations here about mortgages and the like, which are very unpleasant.

Matildathecat Sun 02-Mar-14 15:07:53

I am taking legal action against a surgeon and my GP is very supportive of that.

Op I have pm'd. If you have a strong case it's a pity to give up.

Litigation and complaints, whilst very unpleasant, do keep standards higher and may protect other future patients from harm.

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