We have been acting for a delightful client (now aged 80) who was unhappy with treatment he received from his GP in Swindon during March 2016.

Briefly, in March 2016, our client saw his GP complaining of loose stools, weight loss and general malaise. A number of blood tests were performed, including a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test.

When the blood test results were returned two weeks later, the front page of the report was marked as “abnormal” and the second page of the report identified the PSA level of 115, an abnormal level (suggesting he was at high risk of prostate cancer). His GP failed to open or read the second page of the report and coded the whole report as normal. No action was taken as a result.

During late September 2017, our client reattended his GP surgery with nocturia and poor urine flow. His PSA level was checked again and identified as 270. He was then referred on the two week fast track pathway for suspected urological cancer.

At the end of October 2017, an MRI scan shows a large volume bilateral tumour. A biopsy confirmed a high grade prostate cancer.

Our client made a formal complaint to his GP about the delay in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. His GP admitted that this had been an oversight on his part.

He then sought our advice and a formal Letter of Claim was sent to the GP’s legal representatives setting out our case in negligence as set out below, namely the GP:-

a) Failed to open and read the second page of our client’s blood test results;

b) Coded the test results as normal when they were abnormal;

c) Failed during April 2016 to refer our client on the two week fast track pathway for suspected cancer;

d) Delayed the diagnosis of our client’s cancer by 18 months;

e) Failed generally to provide our client with an acceptable and reasonable standard of care.


Our client should have been diagnosed with cancer shortly after April 2016 and at a time when the cancer would have been at a lower stage but with the presence of metastases likely. In light of his PSA level at this time, it is unlikely the cancer was still confined to the prostate. An earlier diagnosis/treatment at this time would have made an improvement in his local symptoms of altered bowel habit, lower urinary tract symptoms and malaise but the long term outcome for him would not have changed. He did suffer anguish and distress due to this delay in diagnosis.


The legal representatives of the GP did not respond our Letter of Claim. As a consequence, we had to issue proceedings against the GP. The solicitors appointed then entered into negotiations with us to see if this case could be resolved without the need for litigation. There were no out of pocket expenses, only damages for pain and suffering.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £14,750.00 for this client during 2021