Delayed Diagnosis Claims

A delay in diagnosis of a medical condition or illness can have a devastating impact on your life if this results in a worse outcome for your health than could have been achieved with prompt diagnosis.

If you have seen your GP or health centre, or been to a hospital but for some reason you did not receive a diagnosis promptly, you may be entitled to make a delayed diagnosis compensation claim if you have suffered harm as a result.

At Barcan+Kirby, we have wide experience in representing clients who have received a delayed diagnosis with a successful track record of securing substantial payments on their behalf. If you have had a late diagnosis which has resulted in a worsening of your condition, compensation can help you secure the assistance you need for the future, ensure you are able to have the medical treatment you need and compensate you for the pain and suffering you have experienced.

Our leading medical negligence solicitors represent clients from across the UK at our offices in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury.

We understand how daunting it can be to make a legal claim and we will make sure that we provide you with the guidance and support you need throughout. You will find our delayed diagnosis solicitors to be friendly and approachable. We provide a high level of client service and we will speak to you regularly to update you as to progress and discuss your case.

To speak to an expert delayed diagnosis solicitor, please contact us on 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.

Can I make a delayed diagnosis claim?

If you believe that you should have received a diagnosis more quickly than you did, you may be able to make a delayed diagnosis claim.

We will need to show that:

  • You were owed a duty of care by your practitioner;
  • The medical professional involved was negligent in dealing with your diagnosis; and
  • You suffered harm as a result

Where there has been a delayed diagnosis the harm is caused by the delayed initiation of treatment, or the delayed initiation of the correct treatment if your condition was misdiagnosed, which caused your condition to worsen leading to harm.

We offer no win, no fee funding so that you can bring a delayed diagnosis claim with no financial risk to yourself. For more information, see our guide to funding your medical negligence claim.

If you have already received advice or started a claim with another firm but you have some concerns or would like to talk to another solicitor, we will be happy to provide a free second opinion.

Looking for more information about delayed diagnosis claims? Please look at our delayed diagnosis FAQs or get in touch to discuss your case with a member of our team.

Why choose Barcan+Kirby for your delayed diagnosis claim?

We are independently recognised as one of the leading medical negligence teams in the South West. This includes:

Where necessary, our medical negligence lawyers work with various external experts to ensure your case is managed to the highest standard, including barristers, cost lawyers and charities.

Delayed diagnosis FAQs

Delayed diagnosis occurs when you raise a concern with a medical professional, such as your GP, health centre or a hospital, and you do not receive a correct diagnosis within a reasonable time.

Some common examples of delayed diagnoses include:

  • Delayed diagnosis septicaemia
  • Delayed cancer diagnosis
  • Delayed stroke diagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis of a heart condition
  • A delay in diagnosing you in an A&E department
  • A delay in your GP recognising that your symptoms were of concern and referring you to a specialist

There are many reasons why your diagnosis could be delayed and ways in which this could impact your treatment, including:

  • Test results or X-rays being lost or overlooked
  • Failure to look at test results or X-rays
  • Not sending you for tests
  • Not sending you for treatment
  • Not prescribing medication

You may be able to make a delayed diagnosis claim if you believe that:

  • Your condition was not picked up when it reasonably should have been by medical experts; and
  • Your health has deteriorated because of this or it has become harder to treat you.

You are strongly advised to speak to an expert delayed diagnosis solicitor. If you call us, we can go through what has happened with you and give you our initial opinion.

We will look at issues such as when you were finally diagnosed, when you initially spoke to a medical practitioner, what their response was and what outcome you are now dealing with.

We will need to establish that you had a patient/medical practitioner relationship, that the healthcare professional or team failed in their duty to provide you with a reasonable standard of care or were negligent and that you suffered harm as a result.

The harm could include:

  • A deterioration of your condition
  • Additional pain or a worsening of your symptoms because of the deterioration
  • Your health suffering because of the delayed diagnosis
  • An illness such as cancer spreading to another part or parts of your body
  • Your condition becoming terminal
  • Another condition developing because of the late diagnosis

We can work to establish that you were failed by your doctor, health centre or hospital, for example, because they did not do enough to find out what was causing your symptoms, because they did not adequately identify what was wrong and the treatment you needed or because they were negligent in looking at test results.

The amount payable for delay in diagnosis claims can be substantial. It will depend on the severity of the harm you have suffered.

If your claim is proved, you will potentially be entitled to receive two types of damages:

  • General damages
  • Special damages

General damages

General damages are compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the delay in diagnosis of your condition as well as for ‘loss of amenity’ (which means the inability to do things you used to be able to do, such as sports, walking or housework).

There are guidelines in place for the amount payable depending on the loss you have experienced. Our team have extensive knowledge of the sums that could be paid for different types of injury and will be able to give you an idea of the range of payment you might expect to receive.

Special damages

Special damages are the quantifiable financial losses you have suffered. The main financial losses are often loss of earnings and future loss of earnings. Other examples of special damages include the cost of medical help not provided on the NHS, help with housework, care costs, travel expenses to medical appointments, prescription charges, special equipment and modification of your home.

The deadline for starting a claim is generally three years from the date on which you knew or should reasonably have known about the negligent action on the part of your medical practitioner.

In the case of a child, this three-year period does not start until they reach their 18th birthday.

If you are thinking of suing the NHS for delayed diagnosis, you are advised to speak to an expert medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible.

If you ask us to represent you, we will start work straightaway, obtaining your medical records and establishing exactly what has happened. We will notify the medical authority and their insurer that you intend to make a claim and ask them whether liability is admitted.

We can ask our medical experts to prepare reports which will form the basis of your claim. It is often possible to settle a case out of court so that you would not need to go to a hearing. Our team are strong negotiators and have a proven track record of obtaining delayed diagnosis compensation payments for our clients.

Delayed diagnosis case studies

Useful information about medical negligence claims

Speak to our delayed diagnosis solicitors

Our experts work with clients across the UK from our offices in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury.

To speak to our specialist delayed diagnosis solicitors, please contact us on 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.


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    • "Thank you for explaining [everything] so clearly."
      AnonMedical Negligence Client
    • "I cannot recommend Barcan+Kirby Solicitors highly enough, especially Fiona Dabell.

      Fiona took my case on in April 2019. I found her extremely professional, very empathetic, honest, and supportive at all times, and kept me informed and updated throughout.

      When I dealt with Fiona she made me feel like I was her only client (obviously this is not the situation).

      This is a measure of her dedication to her clientele. I am immensely grateful for the settlement she achieved for me. I am going to miss the regular contact we had as Fiona has been a pillar of support over the last three years, especially through the difficult times.

      I can’t thank Fiona enough."
      AnonMedical Negligence Client
    • "Thank you so much for representing my claim so meticulously and your kindness”
      AnonMedical Negligence Client
    • “The thing that I would mark them particularly highly for is client care because they go the extra mile.”
      Chambers and Partners 2023
    • “Claire is really personable, competent, and understands the market really well.”
      Chambers and Partners 2023