£168,500 for a 66-year-old widower on behalf of his wife's estate for the pain and suffering she experienced after failure to monitor her ulcerative colitis over an 8-year period. She was diagnosed with colorectal cancer but died before treatment commenced.
Up until 2004, the deceased (“A”) had had annual flexible sigmoidoscopies to monitor her condition of ulcerative colitis. From 2004, these annual tests simply stopped. Between 2004 and 2012 her Gp continued to prescribe medication (Asacol) for management of the ulcerative colitis but at no point realised that annual hospital monitoring had fallen by the wayside. It is well known that there is a link between the bowel condition of ulcerative colitis and the development of bowel cancer.
In 2012 A started to feel generally unwell and lost weight. Her GP referred her to the first defendant hospital (“D1”). A CT scan revealed a round 7.5cm mass in the rectum with spread to the liver and very enlarged multiple perirectal and coeliac lymph modes. Scans of A's lung bases also showed suspicious nodules. A was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She passed away before chemotherapy was due to commence at the age of 63.
The widower (“C”) brought a claim in negligence for failure by the hospital and GPs in losing his wife to follow-up/failing to refer her back to Hospital. Had there been ongoing annual follow-up the cancer should have been detected at an early stage when it was curable.
Liability was admitted in this case by the Hospital who paid the compensation and the claims against the GPs were discontinued.
Out of the settlement it was estimated that £16,841 was for A’s pain and suffering (General Damages) in the period of a few months when she started to feel unwell, becoming increasingly unwell leading up to her death. The balance was for past and future anticipated financial losses.