GP fails to recognise serious foot condition leading to irreversible deformity

Mr D is a diabetic who, when aged 52, saw his GP because of redness, warmth, tenderness and swelling of his right foot.  He was diagnosed with cellulitis and prescribed repeated courses of antibiotics.  These did not help and he continued to suffer from problems with his foot.

5 months after originally seeing his GP about his foot, he decided to go to the diabetic foot at the hospital.  Here he was diagnosed with Charcot foot, a rare but serious condition where the bones in the foot weaken and fracture causing permanent deformity and disability.  His foot was immobilised but unfortunately by that point, permanent deformity had occurred.

Mr D’s claim was that his GP should have suspected Charcot foot and referred him urgently to hospital where the foot would have been immobilised before the deformity occurred.  This was admitted very early on by the Defendant but it then took some time investigating how much the case was worth as it was the evidence of our expert that Mr D was at risk of further problems with his foot, developing Charcot in his left foot and being unable to work again.  Once these investigations were complete, the parties attended a meeting where a 6 figure settlement was agreed.

This case shows that it is not always proving the treatment was substandard that is the hardest and most time-consuming part of a case.   Here, that was admitted early but the claim continued to ensure Mr D received appropriate compensation.  If you think you or a family member has received substandard treatment, it is important to instruct a specialist solicitor to deal with the claim to ensure you receive the most amount of compensation possible.  If you would like to speak to one of our clinical negligence solicitors for some free, no obligation advice, please contact us on 01642 231110.

Kathryn Watson – September 2020