Diabetes: What to Do If You Haven’t Had the Right Treatment

Diabetes is a complex condition that requires routine check-ups. But last year, less than half of people with diabetes received all of their health checks – meaning 1.9 million didn’t receive the care they needed.

When diabetes goes untreated, or it isn’t diagnosed early enough, complications can quickly arise. If your condition has been made worse because you didn’t get sufficient medical care, you could be entitled to compensation.

What counts as negligence when treating diabetes?

It can sometimes be difficult to know what is classed as negligence when you’re thinking about building a case. These are just a few examples of negligence that could result in a diabetes compensation claim:

  • Delayed diagnosis
    This will sometimes happen when there is a miscommunication between your GP and the hospital, or if your GP has failed to refer you at all. If your condition has worsened due to an avoidably late diagnosis, you could have a claim.
  • Misdiagnosis
    When diabetes is not diagnosed correctly, it can lead to significant complications – especially if you’re given treatment that is unsuitable for your condition. If this has happened to you, you could have a right to compensation.
  • Insufficient care
    Diabetes must be managed, and your doctor has a responsibility to monitor your condition regularly. This will help to ensure that any signs of further health problems – such as nerve damage or kidney failure – will be spotted and acted upon quickly.

How can medical negligence affect people with diabetes?

When diabetes is not managed effectively by medical professionals, the consequences can be severe. Some of the most serious complications include:

  • Amputations
    Since 2013/14, there has been an increase in the number of diabetic amputation claims made – according to NHS Resolution. But amputations can often be avoided through early detection of problems like diabetic foot ulcers, which are a leading cause of lower limb amputations.
  • Kidney failure
    Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels inside your kidneys. If this isn’t addressed quickly, it can lead to kidney failure as blood flow to the organs is reduced. In the most extreme cases, this may require a complete kidney transplant.
  • Loss of vision
    In the UK, over 1,700 people living with diabetes also deal with sight loss. This is usually due to a complication known as diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when blood vessels in the eye are damaged. The later diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, the harder it will be to treat.
  • Nerve damage
    High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage over time, often resulting in a feeling of numbness in the affected areas. If your nerves are damaged, you may not feel the discomfort caused by other complications like foot ulcers, which makes it even more important that your doctor is regularly checking you over.
  • Pregnancy complications
    Most pregnant women with diabetes will have normal pregnancies and healthy births. But if the condition is left untreated, there could be complications – such as the baby being born prematurely. If this has happened to you, you could have a birth negligence claim.

In the worst cases, negligence before, during or after a diabetes diagnosis can be fatal. From January-March 2023, 1,461 excess diabetes-related deaths were recorded in the UK – a 13% increase from the same period last year.

If your loved one has passed away after not receiving the care they needed, you could have grounds to make a fatal negligence claim on their behalf.

What is the average payout for diabetes claims?

Every diabetes claim will be unique, so it’s difficult to say how much compensation you could be entitled to without speaking to you first.

For example, if you’ve undergone an amputation due to negligence, the amount of compensation you receive will likely be different to someone who has suffered nerve damage.

Usually though, if your claim is successful, your compensation will be split into what’s known as general and special damages.

General damages will cover the pain and suffering you’ve endured, while special damages will consider the financial impact. This could be lost earnings if you’ve had to take time off work or the cost of further medical treatment.

A medical negligence solicitor will be able to give you a better idea of how much your claim could be worth after talking to you about what happened. So it’s always best to speak to a legal professional directly.

If you’d like to find out if we could help you make a claim, get in touch with us on the number at the top of the screen or fill in our quick and easy claims form.


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