GP failed to spot serious gastroenterological disorder during multiple consultations.
Glen Mathers, a former postman from Bradford, now aged 46, has received compensation after his GP failed to correctly diagnose him and refer him to hospital.
In November 2011, over the period of two weeks, Glen attended his GP surgery on multiple occasions complaining of lower abdominal cramping, which was associated with frequent loose stools containing blood and mucus. He was feeling sick, had a fever and decreased appetite. Over the week he had lost 3kg due to feeling unwell. His blood test results showed significant inflammation and potential infection with raised white cell count.
Unfortunately, Glen’s GP only made a routine gastroenterology referral with an appointment for 6 weeks’ time.
Glen returned to his GP, feeling worse than before, still with a persistent fever and poor appetite. There was marked weight loss, loose stools and lethargy. Glen’s GP didn’t make any immediate referral; therefore his wife took him to Bradford Royal Infirmary due to his constant vomiting at this point.
Shortly after arriving at hospital, Glen was taken to the high dependency unity due to his severe stomach pain and given strong intravenous painkillers. Whilst in hospital he was diagnosed as suffering from Acute Severe Colitis and which would require emergency surgery.
Had Glen’s GP taken action earlier, he would have been admitted to hospital and treated with steroids much sooner; this would have prevented his bowel from perforating (leaking faecal contents into the abdomen), peritonitis (infection/inflammation of inner tissue of the abdomen), total colectomy with an irreversible stoma and subsequent proctectomy. Glen would have made a rapid and uneventful recovery.
However, as a result of Glen not being referred earlier, he is already developing an incisional hernia which is likely to require surgical repair in the future. He is at risk of post-operative adhesions which will require further operative intervention.
Due to the negligence and time needed in hospital and to recover, Glen was off work for around 7 months and he was unable to return to his job as a postman. His employers were most obliging on his return and Glen changed his job to a role, which was based indoors. He now works nights with ease of access to the toilet due to his stoma and pouch. Thankfully, Glen received a lot of support from his family through the difficult time.
Glen decided to contact Fletchers seeking redress for the negligent treatment. We acted on behalf of Glen to assist with his access to justice. His case was hard-fought by his GP, with liability being denied throughout, however once the matter was taken to court, Glen received a compensation offer. We settled the case for £80,000, which we hope will help Glen to put these distressing events behind him.
Medical negligence solicitor, Kate Lozynska, who was assisted by trainee solicitor, Natasha Perkins, handled Glen’s case. Kate spoke about the case and said:
Glen experienced a devastating and life-threatening injury. The GP’s failure to have any adequate regard to his history, the signs and symptoms of his severe gastroenterological disorder and to make an immediate specialist referral led to him suffering life-changing injuries. We hope the successful conclusion of the matter will allow Glen to move forward with his life, as best as possible.
Glen passed his thanks over to our medical negligence team and Kate following the settlement of his case:
Many thanks for what you and all your team at Fletchers have done for me regarding my case. I would not hesitate in recommending Fletchers to anybody in the future.