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GP negligence claims solicitors

General Practitioners (GPs) are part of the NHS, even though they are ‘independent contractors’ rather than ‘employees’ like NHS hospital doctors. It's your GP who you have most contact with and who is usually the first port of call when you have a health problem. Errors of judgement or by your family doctor can have a strong impact.


GPs must have wide medical knowledge but are also expected to use their judgment and experience to decide when to refer patients for more in-depth, specialist help. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines to help GPs provide treatment and make referrals.

A GP not following these guidelines may be considered an act of GP negligence. Examples of cases we have dealt with against GPs include failure to diagnose meningitis in infants, misdiagnosing heart problems or a failure to diagnose and delay referring a patient for cancer investigations. Prescribing the wrong medication or incorrect dose are also common grounds for making a claim.

If your health has been compromised by a serious error by your general practitioner you are fully justified in bringing a complaint or a claim. Get in touch with Shoosmiths expert solicitors today to help make your GP negligence claim.

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How do I make a GP treatment claim

Most GPs are not employed directly by the NHS nor are they responsible for out-of-hours services. Claims are usually made against individual doctors, who tend to have professional indemnity insurance to cover such a possibility.

There is usually a three-year time limit to making a claim, but be aware that these can be complex, lengthy and demanding cases. The first thing to do is to contact an expert law firm like Shoosmiths who specialise in this sort of work.

Your chosen law firm should have relationships with the appropriate medical and other experts who can be instructed to assess your immediate health needs and suggest what treatments you may urgently require.

Every GP surgery is required to have a procedure to deal with complaints and the courts actively encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution when making a claim.

If a doctor makes serious and repeated mistakes, such as prescribing drugs in a dangerous way, you may complain to the surgery and also raise your concerns with the General Medical Council (GMC), the professional body responsible for ensuring all doctors in the UK are fit to practice.

If you feel you may have a claim, call us for a free initial consultation. Our priority will always be your health and well-being. We can give you the benefit of our experience in such cases.

If I have a GP treatment case

Establishing if you have a GP treatment case involves the same process as any medical negligence claim. Firstly our expert lawyers need to show that there was a breach of the duty owed to you by the GP.

Secondly we will need to prove that on balance (i.e. greater than 50% likelihood) it was those avoidable errors that were directly responsible for the harm you suffered.

If you have been misdiagnosed, or feel you should have received treatment sooner then you did, then you could be entitled to make a claim.

There are time limits within which you can claim so whatever your circumstances you should contact us as soon as is practicable. We can then give you free initial advice about whether a claim is possible and how it could succeed.

More about GP treatment claims

Many people remain reluctant to take legal action against a negligent GP because they fear it will sour the relationship and affect their future care. Your GP can not refuse to treat you simply because you have brought a claim against them, although you may feel more comfortable seeing a different doctor in the same surgery or changing your GP practice.

Making a claim against your GP is distressing, but if you think you may have been harmed as a result of inadequate or negligent care from your GP, you are entitled to seek an explanation and legal redress.

GP Treatment Claims 1

GP Treatment Case Study


GP Treatment Case Study

Negligence by GP reduced life expectancy of patient with metastatic lung cancer

James Hope’s wife, Carol Ann, saw her GP about back pain and general aches. Blood tests showed that something more serious was going on. Two further blood tests showed the same abnormal results, but her GP did not arrange any further investigations.

Over a year later Carol was referred to a specialist who diagnosed here with widespread metastic small-lung cancer. Sadly Carol died.

Find out how Shoosmiths supported Carol's husband in his GP negligence claim here.

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'Shoosmiths got me the rehab I needed and really helped with my family. They were fantastic throughout.'

Nicola Cooper, who suffered a serious brain injury after a seemingly trivial car accident.

Why Shoosmiths?

We have a wealth of experience dealing with complex military claims including where clients have been injured during the course of service or have experience undue suffering because of a breach of care. We also help families of military personnel prepare for inquests.

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