Continuity of care failures leave three GPs liable for a delayed diagnosis

MEDICOLEGAL CASE STUDY


Clinical history

A 50-year-old man consulted his GP about trying to stop smoking. He had a long history of cigarette smoking and was having difficulty kicking the habit. The GP recommended nicotine patches and ordered a chest X-ray and blood tests.

The radiologist reported some pleural thickening at the apex of the right lung, asked to see any previous films for comparison and suggested further imaging. The patient did not return to the GP for review and there was nothing in the GP’s notes to suggest he followed up.

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