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Missed Diagnosis and Sickness Benefit


Stephensons
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Hi,

A while ago I attended my GP because I was ill. They did numerous blood tests and said I was fine. I kept getting worse and going back, which only seemed to convince the GP that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was some kind of malingerer.

I am self employed and was too ill to work so I asked, several times, to be signed off sick and he refused.

A little less than a year passed from my first attendance and it was discovered that someone had overlooked a blood test I'd had when I first went that proved I was indeed ill.

I then went to another GP and explained the problems I'd had and she agreed that I must have been unfit for work during the time the blood test had been overlooked and signed me a backdated sick note for that period.

Obviously during that time, because I'd had no option, I'd still been registered as self employed even though I'd hardly been able to earn anything.

 

Now I am being told that the sick note isn't really worth anything. That I can't claim backdated benefits even though I should have been entitled to them at the time due to my GPs oversight and in reality I was very sick indeed.

 

Can anyone shed any light on where I could get the correct advice or help - solicitors are no good, they are only interested in 'causation' not negligence.

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I think the legal position regarding benefits is that you couldn't be entitled to backdated ESA (sickness benefit) for this reason - you could make a claim for the future, though. I mean, you could make a claim for backdated ESA, but you'd have to show "good cause" why you didn't claim earlier, and I don't think this would be accepted as a valid reason. In any case, ESA cannot be backdated for more than three months for any reason.

 

If you have a complaint about your GP, it might be best to post in the NHS issues forum here on CAG.

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Thanks, Atone,

You've basically confirmed what I've heard already.

It seems though, that a GP can not bother to read what is on your records and the only person who suffers is the patient.

The complaint about the GP thing is a waste of time, you usually just get the standard apology (litigation allows them to apologise without it being an admission of liability)

You'd have thought that having good reason to be signed off as unfit for work would have fallen under the fact that the first GP didn't do their job properly and a second realised that the omission meant a sick person didn't get their entitlement and as such didn't have the required standard of living. But it doesn't.

 

No wonder the public systems in the UK are in such a mess...

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I agree with all that you say Stephensons, but I would if it were me, complain to the GMC, I don't know what the illness is etc however, from what you say, the error that was made through carelessness or whatever other reason, by a Doctor, has been constructive in you suffering for a lengthy period due to mis diagnosis and financial stress I should imagine. One thing I have learned of late is that even if nothing is seemingly done, complaints of this nature are kept on file for a certain length of time, and should further complaints be received by other patients, then the Doctor is looked at more closely. I don't know if PALS can help either, please look them up if you haven't already. The public systems are a shambles but if we don't complain then all these errors go by the by. Its a nightmare when your ill and it can all seem to much, which is where they get away with things, and its just not on. I did once get a personal apology directly from a Doctor, it didn't change things but I did feel at least I had stood up for myself, and in that case I did get the best of treatment from there on in. That of course is never guaranteed.

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