Had to come on here as my blood is boiling (again) after the GF read out to me a few of the complaints on here regarding GPs failing to see that those with pernicious anaemia are given the necessary treatment.
A plan was formulated in anticipation of my GF being refused her monthly B12 injections in favour of three-monthly jabs, and that plan was to threaten a court claim. That wasn't needed in the end but I thought it might be useful to tell you what that plan was.
OK, so refusing the monthly jabs would have been negligent due to a professor at a top hospital stating that monthly injections were necessary - their opinion would trump that of a less qualified person, such as a GP. That negligence would have resulted in B12 having to be procured from elsewhere, which would have cost money. Any money so spent would be due to the GP's negligence and therefore damages could be claimed for costs of the B12 and syringes.
A letter would have been written to the surgery stating that a court claim would be the result of failing to administer the necessary monthly injections. The intention of the letter would have been to put pressure on the surgery and make sure they did provide the essential jabs monthly. It may or may not have worked, but the thinking was that given the low cost of the B12, contrasted with the high cost of litigation, it might just be a lot cheaper and easier to provide the jabs.
Had this failed a court claim would have been made, which under the small claims procedure is not at all complicated or expensive, though the losing side can be ordered to pay the legal costs of the other party (but you probably wouldn't be pursued for them in a case like this). Benefit claimants or those on low income can get fee remission for the cost of issuing court documents, including the N1 Claim Form, which should amount to no more than £25/£35.
Were the claim not settled before a hearing then a judge would decide the matter - and that would be that.
You might win, you might lose, but in the meantime there has been a few grand spent on defending the claim, which will never be recovered in most instances (but please note that wage earners could potentially be subject to deductions from pay, and that house owners could potentially end up with a charge on their property).
This why the first letter may have worked - providing the injections when needed easily and cheaply solves any future problems which may be caused by a court claim being made or won. A win would allow others to do the same - not that any precedent is set, just that similar claims in the future would be known to have legal merit.
On the other hand I have been told that the NHS will take over any legal proceedings, which leaves less pressure on the individual doctor or surgery perhaps. But still, your Letter Before Claim will have to be dealt with by the surgery somehow, and if it looks like you are serious they may change their minds.
Desperate situations call for desperate measures and there was nothing to lose in this situation. For those in similar situations it's something to think about or look into.