Compensation for a wrong diagnosis

Claiming compensation for a wrong diagnosis 

A wrong diagnosis — or misdiagnosis — occurs when a healthcare worker, such as a GP, incorrectly diagnoses a patient’s medical condition. NHS resolution reported in 2021/22 that there had been a rise in the number of negligence claims that are due to delays and errors in making a diagnosis.

Types of misdiagnoses

There are three types of diagnostic negligence claims that can be brought:

Late or delayed diagnosis – This is when the patient’s medical condition is initially missed by a medical professional in the early stages and is only correctly diagnosed when the illness has reached a more advanced stage. Delays in making a diagnosis can cause patients to miss out on the treatment that they could have had if the condition had been identified earlier. In the most serious cases this can impact the patient’s life expectancy.

Missed diagnosis – This is when a medical professional fails to diagnose the symptoms of a health condition altogether, and this can lead to the patient’s condition deteriorating.

Incorrect diagnosis – A medical professional may make a diagnosis that is incorrect, wrongly attributing the patient’s symptoms to some other condition. This can result in the wrong treatment being given. In turn this could mean that the patient’s condition progresses and in serious cases can become untreatable.

How can a misdiagnosis happen?

Between 2017 and 2021 there were 8,718 compensation claims made in the UK, where the failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis was the primary cause of death. The number of claims being made has risen since 2021.

There are many causes of misdiagnosis such as;

  • Wrongly interpreted scan results
  • Miscommunication between healthcare professionals
  • Lack of time with patients (to understand symptoms)
  • Lack of medical experience
  • Not being referred to a specialist

Affects that misdiagnosis can have

Misdiagnosis can lead to;

  • Further health complications
  • Making the condition worse and therefore prolonging the recovery time
  • Not being given the treatment that was necessary
  • Death

Claims for misdiagnosis

Our specialist medical negligence team have dealt with many compensation claims for a wrong diagnosis and are skilled in being able to prove how a misdiagnosis has led to further injury or death.

Here are some of the misdiagnosis cases that we have successfully assisted with:

If you, or someone you know has been misdiagnosed and it has caused them to suffer unnecessarily, please contact our helpline for a free review of your case. We deal with these cases under our popular no win, no fee scheme, so you do not have to pay any upfront costs.

Give us a call on freephone 0333 888 0404 or email us at [email protected]



Picture of Jade Scoble

Jade Scoble

Picture of Jade Scoble

Jade Scoble

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Call the Slee Blackwell helpline on 0333 888 0404