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£60,000 Compensation Payout For A GP Prescription Error – Calculate Amounts

When you get ill, and you don’t seem to be getting better with rest or home remedies or over the counter treatments, your GP could be the person you approach for advice and treatment. You would usually expect your GP to diagnose you and provide the most appropriate advice or treatment for your needs. But what happens if the treatment that the GP prescribes makes you worse? And what if a GP’s error with a prescription means that the harm you’ve suffered could have been avoided? On this page, we take a look at what sort of case could amount to a £60,000 compensation payout for a prescription error made by a GP. In this example, we discuss this type of medical negligence, explaining how prescription error compensation payouts could be calculated, and how you could make a claim if you’ve been harmed by being given the wrong prescription by your GP.

If you would like to call our team to ensure that the advice you get is specific to your particular situation, we can offer a free assessment of your claim. We can be reached on 0800 073 8804. Before you call, however, why not read on to find out more about claiming compensation for a prescription error.

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How Did The Claimant Receive The Wrong Medication?

GP prescription error medical negligence

GP prescription error medical negligence

Medical professionals such as GPs have a legal duty to provide safe and effective care. If they do not do so, and you suffer avoidable harm because of their failure, you could be eligible to claim a compensation payout for a prescription error that has caused you harm. In this case study, we take a look at a patient who suffered severe allergy to penicillin symptoms because of NHS negligence. However, it would be prudent for us to mention that GP negligence cases could also include cases where other medical errors with prescription drugs were made, for example, an under prescription or an over-prescription.

In this case, the claimant was prescribed medicine that they were allergic to. A GP surgery should have records of patient’s allergies, and in this case, the claimant had a documented allergy to penicillin. However, he was then prescribed a medication that contained penicillin. The claimant, with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, was able to prove clinical negligence by the GP in prescribing the wrong medication, and that the prescription error caused him physical and psychological harm. He received £60,000 in prescription error compensation payouts.

If you were wondering how common this type of error could be, it may be of interest to know that, according to the NHS’s response to an article in the media concerning the headline ‘1 in 20 prescriptions has an error’, a study of 6000 prescriptions across the UK by the General Medical Council found that, while 1 in 8 prescriptions overall had errors, only 4% of these were judged to be major errors, with 54% found to be moderate and 42% found to be minor.

However, their response also recommended that GPs should be better trained in safe prescribing, as well as there being more effective usage of computer systems to avoid prescriptions errors.

What Circumstances Led To The Prescription Error Being Made?

In this case, the claimant, who had a documented penicillin allergy, was prescribed medication from his GP that contained penicillin.

The claimant visited the GP, complaining of a headache, as well as a painful chest. After examination from the GP, he was provided with a prescription for amoxicillin. This antibiotic contained penicillin, which, as mentioned, the claimant was allergic to.

The claimant, after taking the tablets, suffered an anaphylactic allergic reaction, which led him to be hospitalised, leaving him with long-term psychological damage.

What Physical And Psychological Injuries Did The Claimant Suffer?

Soon after the claimant took the tablets that were prescribed to him, he started to suffer from a tingling sensation in and around his lips. He struggled to speak and began to experience severe itching, which, upon scratching led to severe lesions. His lips and tongue began to swell, and because of this swelling, he began to find it difficult to breathe.

Upon being admitted to hospital, the claimant was diagnosed with anaphylactic shock, and was treated in hospital. While his physical symptoms resolved, the claimant began to suffer a panic disorder and PTSD as well as periods of depression due to the experience of having the wrong medication prescribed and other injuries.

What Is An Anaphylactic Allergic Reaction?

Unfortunately, if you are severely allergic to something, and you are exposed to it, your body could develop a life-threatening reaction, called anaphylaxis. This condition tends to develop quite suddenly, with rapid onset symptoms such as:

  • Wheezing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling faint
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Having trouble breathing (shallow, fast breaths)
  • Skin turning clammy
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Collapsing
  • Losing Consciousness
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling
  • Pain in the stomach

Left untreated, anaphylaxis could be fatal, so getting emergency medical treatment is vital. If someone shows signs of anaphylaxis, you should:

  • Call 999 and mention that you think the person could have anaphylaxis
  • Use an injector if the patient has one but only if you can use it correctly
  • Remove potential allergens as soon as possible
  • Get the person to lie down flat

How Was This Case Concluded?

A letter was sent to the GP in question which explained the claimant’s losses and injuries suffered because of medical negligence at the GP practice. While the GP then admitted making a prescription error, and that the action had been avoidable, they denied the claimant’s psychological injury could have been caused by this.

Evidence was then submitted with psychiatric experts’ evidence that showed the claimant had developed PTSD through the medical errors with the prescription drugs. Once this evidence was reviewed by the GP, responsibility was eventually admitted, and a settlement of £60,000 was agreed on. This compensation payout for a prescription error included loss of earnings and other special damages as well as general damages for the harm caused by the prescription error.

Calculating Compensation For Prescription Errors By A GP

Here at Legal Expert, we are commonly asked about how much compensation specific cases would be worth. While we have not provided a personal injury claims calculator on this page, we have chosen to provide information on prescription error compensation payouts in the table below. The figures you can see here have been compiled from the Judicial College Guidelines and give approximate payout brackets for specific injuries.

TrustNumber of claimsNumber of incidentsPayments made by the trust
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust7986£3,198,878
North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust1619£446,656
South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust2829£1,120,708

It would be prudent to mention that the figures above may not make up all of your compensation payout for a prescription error. You may have had to undergo counselling because of the post-traumatic stress disorder or another psychological injury you’ve suffered due to anaphylaxis symptoms you’ve experienced, for example, or you may have lost out on earnings while you recovered from the injuries caused by the prescription error. The costs attached to this could also be claimed for within prescription error claims. These are known as special damages, and could also include travel costs or care costs, for example.

No Win No Fee Prescription Error Compensation Claims

Making a claim for compensation might be something you don’t want to go through on your own. Getting a compensation payout for a prescription error might be complicated and having a capable personal injury lawyer on your side could help to make the claims process a little easier for you. If you would like to make a personal injury claim without paying legal fees upfront, you might wish to consider claiming with a No Win No Fee Solicitor. The way in which a No Win No Fee solicitor works is through a Conditional Fee Agreement. This document, which you would be expected to sign before the lawyer takes on your case, requires you to agree to pay your lawyer a percentage of your prescription error compensation payouts if they successfully obtain compensation for you. The percentage they can ask for can’t be more than 25% of your total compensation payout, and is only payable once your compensation has been paid out. If they don’t manage to get you any compensation, even though you have a valid claim, this ‘success fee’ would not be payable.

How Legal Expert Could Help If You Were Harmed By A Prescription Error

Here at Legal Expert, we are ready and willing to help you claim compensation for a prescription error that has caused you to suffer avoidable harm. Whether you have suffered allergy to amoxicillin symptoms because of a wrong prescription, like our case study, or have had anaphylaxis allergy symptoms because you were prescribed another medicine you were allergic to, we could provide a free, no-obligation assessment of your case. We could then provide advice and support tailored to your situation. If we feel that you could have a valid medical malpractice claim, we could provide you with a personal injury solicitor, who would be able to take your claim forward on a No Win No Fee basis.

Start Your Claim For A Prescription Error

We could help you get a compensation payout for a prescription error, if you are eligible to make this type of personal injury claim. Whether you are looking for advice, or are ready to begin a clinical negligence claim for the harm you’ve suffered because you received the wrong prescription from a doctor, calling 0800 073 8804 will connect you to one of the Legal Expert team. Alternatively, you can email info@legalexpert.co.uk, use the live chat or fill out our contact form. We’re waiting to help you.

Where To Learn More

GP Negligence Claims – Here, you can read our guide relating to GP negligence claims.

Wrong Dosage Claims – Here you can see more about claiming for being harmed by a wrong prescription, this time for an incorrect dosage.

Wrong Medication Claims – Here, you can read more about making a claim for the wrong medication.

NHS Anaphylaxis – The NHS has produced guidance for patients suffering from anaphylaxis, and those that may be with them when they suffer symptoms of a reaction.

BMJ – Getting The Label Right – This report in the British Medical Journal covers how to assess the labelling of a medication that contains Penicillin, in order to avoid allergic reactions.

Government Review On Wrong Medication – Here, you can find information relating to the Short Life Working Group which covers wrong medication cases.

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