A retired social worker from Newcastle, who suffered a litany of medical negligence errors culminating in a delayed diagnosis of terminal breast cancer, has secured significant compensation with the help of Thompsons Solicitors.

The Northumberland woman, who was initially diagnosed with breast cancer, experienced a series of medical errors, including delayed or missed treatments, which ultimately resulted in the belated diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer after the cancer had spread to her lungs.

In 2005, the woman – who does not wish to be named - was diagnosed with breast cancer at North Tyneside General Hospital in North Shields.

A year later, the 64-year-old was put on a course of Tamoxifen as part of her treatment programme. This treatment was ended earlier than NICE guidelines stipulate, with her specialist breast cancer nurse advising that no further treatment was needed.

Furthermore, her menopausal levels were not checked, and she wasn’t prescribed a hormone inhibitor, which should have been standard procedure for her condition.

When she went to her GP in 2017 with breathing issues, her concerns were dismissed, and she was misdiagnosed with hay fever. Later that year, a chest X-ray showed shadowing, but staff at Hexham Hospital failed to follow it up.

In 2018, the former social worker's condition worsened, and she began experiencing severe pain. Consequently, she ended up back in hospital, where she was diagnosed with terminal metastatic breast cancer, which meant that the cancer had spread to her lungs.

She has outlived her terminal diagnosis by some margin, thanks in part to a hormone inhibitor that she has been taking.

The woman instructed the national law firm Thompsons Solicitors to launch a clinical negligence claim for compensation. Following detailed negotiations and the issue of court proceedings, the firm secured a significant payout.
The catalogue of errors made by a series of medical professionals has profoundly impacted her.

The woman said: “It’s very emotional reflecting on what I have had to experience. I find it hard to trust people now. I’m always questioning the decisions I make, feeling I have no control over my life.

“I also think about all the other people who have been victims of medical negligence, but don’t know it. I feel upset at how I was dealt with. It seemed that staff were trying to soften me up during discussions with them about my situation, to not speak up about negligence and seek justice.
“Thompsons has given me brilliant support and legal advice. My solicitor, Fiona, has shown great sensitivity in dealing with my case. She has kept me well-informed about legal proceedings and made herself available to answer any questions I had.”

Fiona Belgian, a medical negligence expert at Thompsons Solicitors, said: "This has been a hugely distressing ordeal for our client. The catalogue of medical errors is truly shocking.

“She was badly let down by NHS Trusts in the North East. Every medical professional has a duty of care towards their patients. No one should be exposed to medical negligence, but unfortunately, our client is not alone in this regard – there are many other victims in the UK.

“I commend her on the resilience and bravery she has shown. Not just in dealing with her diagnosis and treatment, but also in pursuing this case and allowing it to be publicised, so that other women with a breast cancer diagnosis make sure that they look into the treatment properly and don’t go through what she has.

“We’re pleased that we could secure the settlement for her. We hope this can provide some financial security, so that she can move on with her life.”