Out of hours GP service

In this very sad case, we acted for a client who was unhappy with medical treatment which her late husband received from the out of hours GP service, known as SEQOL, based at Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

Briefly, at the material time, the deceased (who was aged 72) suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and severe aortic stenosis.

In early January 2015, he attended the out of hours service, having suffered for 2 days with retching, shivering, a headache, coughing and he was also struggling to breath but his inhalers were not helping his condition.

The deceased was seen by a GP who took his oxygen saturation, blood pressure and heart rate and diagnosed exacerbation of his COPD and discharged him with antibiotics and steroids.

A few days later, the deceased’s symptoms were worsening and on this occasion, he saw his own GP and sadly whilst at the surgery, he collapsed and died.

Our client was critical of the out of hours GP in that he:-

  1. Failed to take adequate note of the low blood pressure, marked tachycardia and low oxygen saturations;
  2. Failed to take adequate note of the co-morbid cardiac problems;
  3. Failed to admit the deceased to hospital.

It was our case that if the deceased had been admitted to hospital straightaway by the out of hours GP for monitoring and investigation, on the balance of probabilities, he is likely to have survived.

A letter of claim was sent to SEQOL, who denied any liability. We had no option but to issue proceedings at Court.

Following the service of proceedings, SEQOL instructed lawyers to act for them and after some negotiation, the parties were able to reach a settlement. This included a claim on behalf of the deceased’s dependents, a bereavement award, a claim for loss of services and reduced state pension which was now payable to his widow.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £30,000.00 for this client during 2017