GP Negligence Claims

There are roughly 2,500 general practitioners working in various health centres around Ireland today, and our GPs occupy a vital role in our country’s medical sector. 

Your GP is your first line of defence – they are family doctors and, for most of us, they are the first person we see when we experience an issue with our health. 

This is because the role of a GP is hugely dynamic – they are responsible for treating all kinds of common medical ailments, and for referring patients to hospitals and other practitioners for specialist or urgent care. 

Because of how many different types of situations a GP encounters in their work, it is possible for mistakes to happen and for a patient’s health to suffer as a result.

If you suspect you are the victim of GP negligence, you may be confused as to what steps you should take in order to rectify the situation. 

At Sinnott Medical Negligence Solicitors, our team of medical negligence solicitors are always on hand to advise you on any cases around GP negligence. 

Contact our offices in Dublin and Cork today for expert advice on how to go about making a GP negligence claim.

What is GP Negligence?

If you have experienced an injury, accident, illness or disease as a result of inadequate care from your GP, you may have cause to pursue compensation for GP negligence.

Inadequate care can refer to all kinds of malpractice, but essentially it means your GP was unable to demonstrate the necessary skill level required in their role. 

Under Irish law, all medical negligence claims are required to prove two things: 

  1. A relationship existed between the wronged patient and the practitioner prior to the event in question. 
  2. The practitioner’s negligence was directly responsible for all or part of the patient’s accident, illness, injury or disease.

It must not only be shown that your GP’s actions constituted negligence, but that they had a direct impact on your condition suffering. 

If you are unsure as to whether or not your situation represents a case of GP negligence, you can get in touch with one of our clinical negligence solicitors today for guidance and answers to any queries surrounding your case.

Get the compensation you deserve.

Sinnott Solicitors are located in Dublin & Cork, we have an expert team of medical negligence solicitors to help you with your claim.

Common Types of GP Negligence Claims

GP negligence reveals itself in many different ways given the broad scope of work that falls under their duty. 

Some common GP negligence claims revolve around situations like these:

  • Failure to properly investigate a patient’s symptoms.
  • Misdiagnosis or a failure to correctly diagnose a patient’s condition.
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist.
  • Failure to attend a home visit for a patient struggling to leave their premises.
  • Failure to act accordingly on test results that reveal treatment a patient requires.
  • Poor or inadequate keeping of a patient’s medical records.
  • Improper prescriptions leading to a patient receiving the wrong medication.
  • Failure to inform a patient of issues that became apparent during tests.
  • Failure to conduct a proper review on the medication being administered to a patient.

This list is not exhaustive, and you may have experienced another form of GP negligence that can warrant a claim. 

If you want advice on whether your situation constitutes GP negligence, contact Sinnott Solicitors today for expert legal guidance.

Failure to Properly Investigate a Patient’s Symptoms

If a GP recognises symptoms in their patient but fails to pursue the correct treatment course for those symptoms, it may end up delaying the provision of proper care. 

This can lead to a patient’s health deteriorating and potentially severe, long-term damage.

Misdiagnosis or a Failure to Correctly Diagnose a Patient’s Condition

Misdiagnosis is a very common form of medical negligence and can be catastrophic for patients if not quickly rectified. 

If a patient is not correctly diagnosed, they can either receive the wrong medication, or no treatment at all, for their injury or illness.

Failure to Refer a Patient to a Specialist

A major part of a GP’s work is referring patients to the correct specialists for further treatment on more serious ailments. 

If a GP fails to do this, a patient may not receive adequate care for a long period of time, with potentially major consequences for their long-term health.

Failure to Attend a Home Visit for a Patient Struggling to Leave Their Premises

GPs are responsible for deciding if and when a home visit is necessary for treating a patient, and they will only make a home visit if they deem the situation urgent. 

A failure to perform a home visit when it is required, however, can constitute GP negligence.

Failure to Act Accordingly on Test Results That Reveal Treatment a Patient Requires

Naturally, if test results indicate further treatment is required, a GP must act accordingly and implement the right course of care. 

A failure to do this can cause huge damage to a patient’s condition, be it through a GP implementing the wrong treatment course or no treatment whatsoever.

Poor or Inadequate Keeping of a Patient’s Medical Records

Medical records are hugely important in monitoring the development of a patient’s health over a prolonged period. 

A GP must keep records of their patients and ensure that those documents remain secure and private.

Improper Prescriptions Leading to a Patient Receiving the Wrong Medication

Occasionally, through carelessness or incompetence, prescriptions can be inaccurate or poorly written, leading to a patient receiving the wrong medication. 

This can lead to the patient’s ailment going untreated, and their health potentially worsening as a result of other medication having a negative impact.

Failure to Inform a Patient of Issues That Became Apparent During Tests

It is a GP’s responsibility to accurately and comprehensively inform a patient of the results of any medical tests they undergo. 

If your GP fails to let you know about an issue that arose during tests, and that issue later goes on to impact your health, their actions may have been negligent.

Failure to Conduct a Proper Review on the Medication Being Administered to a Patient

If a patient is prescribed medication that, for instance, contains properties of a substance to which they are known to be allergic, a GP may be responsible for their condition suffering as a result.

GPs must be careful to warn patients of any medication that may impact allergies or any side effects that could come with their course of treatment.   

Irish College of General Practitioners

Since 1984, the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) has been responsible for setting the standards of practice patients can come to expect from their GPs. 

Alongside the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the ICGP ensure that Ireland boasts a high standard of healthcare and provide clarity on what level is required among practitioners.

If the ICGQ’s guidelines are breached and impact a patient’s condition, GP negligence may have occurred.

Who is Responsible for GP Negligence?

In certain cases, it can happen that patients share some of the burden for their injury, illness or disease with the negligent GP in question.  

Contributory negligence occurs when a wronged party is seen to have contributed to their own accident, injury or illness by acting negligently themselves. 

For example, in a case of a misdiagnosis, a patient may fail to attend a follow-up appointment recommended by their GP.

While the GP’s actions were still negligent, the patient’s behaviour also contributed to them not receiving proper treatment in a timely manner.

Compensation for GP Negligence

Compensation in all cases of medical negligence is impacted by factors like your age, occupation, health and the severity of the injury or illness you suffer.

Damages you receive are usually divided into two categories.

Compensation for General Damages

General damages cover the non-financial losses you suffer as a result of your injury or illness, including the pain and suffering associated with the incident itself and any mental or physical impact on you moving forward.

Compensation for Special Damages

Special damages cover the expenses you incur as a result of your accident, injury or illness, such a loss of earnings from time spent out of work or the medical bills you rack up in order to recover physically and mentally.

How Long Do I Have to File a GP Negligence Claim?

From what is known as the “date of knowledge”, you have two years within which you can pursue a medical negligence claim in Ireland. 

That date is the day on which you become aware of the accident, injury or illness that has befallen you. 

For example, you may be suffering with a disease for several months before test results reveal your condition. 

If a minor suffers GP negligence, a parent or guardian can file a claim for compensation on their behalf. 

Otherwise, the child can wait until their eighteenth birthday, at which point their two-year window will become active.

What Steps Should I Take Following GP Negligence?

If you have been the victim of GP negligence, following these steps may give you the best chance of securing appropriate compensation for your accident, injury or illness.

  • 1

    Seek Appropriate Medical Advice: It is crucial that you receive appropriate care to ensure your illness or injury is properly treated. If you require specialist treatment, ensure you are referred to the right practitioner.

  • 2

    Document Your Medical Records: Keep track of your ailment and document your records both at the time you become aware you have suffered GP negligence, and in the coming months as your condition develops.

  • 3

    Record Expenses: Keep record of any expenses you incur, both a loss of earnings from time spent out of work and any medical bills you are forced to pay as a result of your condition.

  • 4

    Seek Expert Legal Guidance: Get in contact with an experienced medical negligence solicitor for advice on how to move forward with your GP negligence claim.

Make a GP Negligence Claim Today

If you have suffered an accident, injury or illness because of GP negligence, our team at Sinnott Medical Negligence Solicitors are here to help. 

If you have any queries in relation to a GP negligence claim, please contact Sinnott Solicitors at 014062962 or email your query to

Need Advice? Speak With An Expert.

Sinnott Solicitors are located in Dublin & Cork