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What to do after receiving the wrong diagnosis

Read time: 4 mins

First4Lawyers, September 19, 2019

When you are given the wrong diagnosis, it can feel like an incredible betrayal. You went looking for help with a medical problem and were left in a worse off state.

To address this injustice, you do have options. UK law allows you to try to get yourself back to the position you were in before the incident ever happened. And this can be done through a medical negligence claim.

How could you receive the wrong diagnosis?

There are a multitude of ways you might end up with the wrong diagnosis for your injury or illness. But whichever way it happens, it is unacceptable.

You may receive your misdiagnosis after being told you have a certain illness when, in fact, you’re suffering from something else entirely. And this delay in receiving the right diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. For example, you may be suffering from ovarian cancer, but your doctor diagnoses a bowel problem.

Even when your doctor thinks you may be suffering from the right illness, there are other steps in the process that could go wrong. You may have had tests conducted, which could be carried out on faulty equipment. This could then end up giving a false result, thereby delaying the right diagnosis and treatment.

There have also been incidents of test results being mixed up with others, which then has the effect of two people receiving the wrong diagnosis. This could be the result of inexperienced healthcare staff or even a lack of the right professionals in these roles.

What to do when you think you’ve had the wrong diagnosis

If your gut tells you that something is wrong and you haven’t had the right diagnosis, you should not disregard it. Your health is the most important thing so pursuing this feeling could be the reason you discover a misdiagnosis.

Remember that although a doctor may be an expert in their field, you know your body best. If you have been following the treatment plan set out in the initial diagnosis, but you aren’t getting any better, it’s a good sign that there may be a problem with your diagnosis.

Don’t be afraid to seek out a second opinion. If you suspect what your illness may be, you can search for a specialist in this area. They may be more qualified to diagnose you than the GP you likely saw in the first place.

It’s advisable to keep a record of your medical appointments. This way, you can show that your symptoms have not abated, as they should have with the right diagnosis. You might want to put together a file of information on these previous appointments, any medication you’ve been on, a progress chart of your symptoms and any other details you think relevant for your new doctor.

What should you do after you finally get the right diagnosis?

After receiving the right diagnosis, your priority is going to be your health. The most important thing is working with your clinicians to establish the right treatment plan for you. Following it will help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Once you know you’re on the right track with your health, you can focus on addressing what went wrong. You may decide that this will take the form of a complaint against your healthcare provider. Or you may want to take it further by pursuing legal action.

A claim for compensation will help ensure you can cover the expense of any treatment you require in the future. You may also find that you require modifications to your home or help getting around. Any compensation you win from a medical negligence claim will help pay for this.

You might want to keep a record of how the wrong diagnosis has affected your health and your life. This will help to strengthen your case. You should include evidence of healthcare appointments, any expenses you have paid out and descriptions of the toll it has taken on your life.

To find out how First4Lawyers could help you address what went wrong, just get in touch. We’re happy to talk you through your options for free and with no obligation.

Get in touch today - we can help with your claim 08005677866