Understanding GP Negligence & Knowing Your Rights

Patients place a great deal of trust in their GP when attending a practice, as they rely on them to diagnose a problem or make an appropriate medical referral.

Unfortunately, medical negligence by a GP can potentially damage a patient’s quality of life. While doctors do have an extensive amount of knowledge regarding healthcare, they are only human and can make mistakes in their career.

For this reason, you should learn more about GP negligence and your rights should the worst happen.

Examples of GP Negligence

Your GP will be your first point of contact when you have a medical problem. While they are not specialists, they must possess enough knowledge to identify when to refer a patient for a diagnosis or treatment at a hospital or clinic.

If they fail to adequately do so, they will have failed in their duty of care to patients, and you would have every right to embark on a GP negligence claim.

Examples of GP negligence include:

  • A medical misdiagnosis
  • A misinterpretation of test results
  • An incorrect medication prescription (including wrong strength or an ingredient that triggers a known allergy in a patient)
  • A failure to refer a patient for testing or scans to diagnose a serious medical condition
  • Incorrectly recording a patient’s information
  • An inadequate examination
  • A failure to perform procedures they’re qualified to do

Consider Lodging a Formal Complaint

While you are not obligated to submit a complaint to either the NHS or a governing body regarding GP negligence, it could potentially benefit your medical negligence claim.

As both the NHS or a governing body will investigate your complaint, they could accumulate evidence that could support a GP negligence claim. Also, by doing so, you could prevent another patient from experiencing a similar lack of care in the future, and you could potentially receive an apology.

The Statutory Limit for a GP Negligence Claim

If you suspect you have been a victim of GP negligence, it’s imperative you don’t delay when making a claim. At present, the statutory time limit for a doctor negligence claim is three years from either the date of your injury or from the date you connected an injury to a treatment.

The Length of the Claim Process

There is no set time limit for the completion of a compensation claim, as it can vary from three months to a few years. The length of time it takes to complete the claims process will be determined by the severity of your injury and whether the opposing party accepts responsibility for the injury sustained.

For example, it is often much quicker to process claims for injuries with a short recovery period in comparison to serious damage that requires long-term care. The process will also take longer if the case needs to be resolved in court.


No patient should be a victim of GP negligence. While doctors are only human, they have a legal and moral duty to provide their patients with the highest standard of care. If you have been a victim of medical negligence, contact us today to embark on a claim on a no win no fee basis.