Prostate cancer diagnosis delayed by 5 years

Mr P was originally seen by a Practice Nurse at his GP surgery in 2005 for a general check-up and advice on his lifestyle.  During the appointment he had blood taken for analysis which included PSA testing for the early signs of prostate cancer.

The PSA level was found to be almost 4 times higher than the normal range and when checked again several months later it was still very much outside of the normal range but his GP failed to make any referral or arrange a further review having advised Mr P that the results were quite unreliable and could have been caused by other things such as riding a bike.

In June 2010 Mr P saw his GP complaining of passing blood in his urine.  A PSA check at this time found his level had rocketed and he was referred urgently to a urologist who made a diagnosis of cancer of the prostate and commenced Mr P on treatment.  Sadly it became apparent that the delay in diagnosis had allowed the cancer to progress and as a result Mr P’s life expectancy was significantly shortened.

Mr P’s GP quickly accepted that he had failed his patient in not referring him to a urologist in 2005 and that a diagnosis at this time would have afforded Mr P a better outcome and prognosis.

Court proceedings were issued and because Mr P chose to settle his claim in his lifetime rather than leave it to his widow to deal with, the main dispute between the parties was about how to deal with Mr P’s “lost years claim”.  A claim for lost years arises when a claimant is denied the opportunity to earn an income as result of their life being shortened due to the Defendant’s negligence.  Mr P eventually accepted £190,000 in full and final settlement of his claim.

Ashleigh Holt – August 2014