Peter developed sudden lower back pain while gardening. He couldn’t really move so his GP saw him at home. He was seen on 9 occasions over the next 3 weeks by a GP. She failed to carry out any neurological examinations and simply prescribed more and more pain relief. In spite of ever more obvious signs of cauda equina syndrome, she failed to refer the patient to hospital. Eventually, the patient became completely incontinent of urine and his wife called for an ambulance. In A&E, the condition was suspected. It was confirmed by MRI scan and he underwent surgery later that day.
Unfortunately, Peter was left with urinary problems and great difficulty walking. Our expert evidence suggested that the urinary problems would have been prevented with an earlier diagnosis and treatment, but he would have had some impaired mobility in any event.
The case was settled shortly before trial for £565,000.