Could I sue NHS?

I was diagnosed with very underactive thyroid in 1981, put onto T4 only. Continued to feel mega awful. My son was born in 1980 & I raised him in that state. In1994 voluntarily took myself into psychiatric unit as I thought was going insane; they only gave me tranquilisers & said no psychiatric illness. Struggled on til 1995 when I found Dr Peatfield. He changed med to 20mcg T3 (no T4) plus said my adrenals low so prescribed 5mg deltacortril (cortisone) daily. Felt human again. He then disappeared, so had to go back to relying on GP/NHS. Kept struggling on, trying to hold down a job, had a teenager, my marriage had broken down. By 2000 had to quit my job. Kept going back & back to various GPs, usual blood tests which apparently came back within range – my brain not working so never asked for results In 2006 I moved to Birmingham to be near the university teaching hospital & saw a ‘professor consultant’ – said my short synacthen test normal. Presume he did thyroid tests, got results somewhere but they must have been within range. (should have got 2nd opinion in hindsight). Was getting severe depression, mega lethargy, total brain fuzz, and many other symptoms. In 2007 it had all dragged on for so long I felt suicidal & saw another psychiatrist as outpatient. After 6 weeks he said ”no psychiatric illness – it’s endocrine”. I now realise he should have referred me to an endo. By then I was divorced, no job, (I wasn’t officially ill so couldn’t get any benefits), had had to sell my house, no savings left & on the scrap heap.

I can’t remember when it was but I increased my T3 dose to 30mcg daily. Managed to convince GP it was ok. Felt quite a lot better but still a way to go.

In April 2014 I begged an endo to increase my T3 up to 40mcg daily, he agreed. I feel so much better for the first time since Dr P

Would I have a chance of successfully suing the NHS for the failure of the 2nd psychiatrist to refer me to an endo; or for the failure of my GP at that time who failed to refer me to an endo. ?

Also surely all medics should have realised that my T3 dose was too low?

I’ve lost everything through this illness - not being medicated correctly and adequately. Very very angry.

15 Replies

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  • You cannot win against the establishment. I'm afraid that is the reality. The medical "profession" closes ranks and they also lie, falsify notes, etc. I have some personal experience in this regard.

    The legal system is theatre. One medical expert testifies against another. These "experts" are just other doctors who very often are personally acquainted with the doctors who failed. The experts get their fee either way, ie whatever they claim their expert opinion to be. In my case, 7 doctors refused to act as expert witnesses against the predator doctor of whom I was a victim. They all said off the record that because of who this doctor was (ie his standing within the establishment), they were not prepared to do it

    That is the reality of it I'm afraid. You will only wear yourself out and get nowhere.

    You are better off naming and shaming the culprits on websites like complaintsboard and ripoffreport.

  • Thanks for your wise reply. As Holby's post below says, the psychiatrist should have sent my GP the info, and my GP definitely should have referred me to an Endo. I can't even be bothered at the mo to get medical records to check psychiatrists recommendations but surely that error by my GP is 'cut & dried' ? Not seeing an endo at that stage in my illness wreaked havoc with my life. I wasn't seeing anyone except pathetic GP.

  • Oooooh, that's awful. You could always rattle cages by writing letters to those who've failed you and give them some sleepless nights.

    My experience is that the very organisation that's supposed to protect patients, you know, the one that allowed Shipman to commit his heinous crimes, are not interested in GPs failing patients. That includes misdiagnosis, repeatedly.

    There are too many people, from the top downwards, who are supplementing their wages. The truth will out one day.

  • Anger comes the the forefront when we discover that what most Endocrinologists believe is 'easy' to treat - just give levothyroxine, get bloods within range and whatever else the patient is suffering from anything other than a problem with their thyroid gland.

    When your whole life has gone down the chute anger is very understandable. I doubt you would have any chance to sue for negligence but I am not a lawyer or have any knowledge. Maybe someone else will.

    Dr Peatfield was forced to face the GMC for prescribing outside the guidelines of the British Thyroid Association, who still have the same mantra on their website - nothing but levothyroxine.

    Dr P was under immense strain, of course, both him and Dr Skinner after a lifetime of treating patients they way they were taught as medical students, so he resigned rather than be struck off which enables him to still practices but now cannot prescribe

    The BTA also have false statements on their website too regarding Natural Dessicated Thyroid Hormones and would not retract or amend their wrong statement. Many patients get well on levothyroxine but for us, mainly, on this site we get better with something other than levo.

    There are lots of Angry Thyroiders who are either undiagnosed according to where the TSH lands on the blood test, undertreated due to being kept 'within range' or told they are 'normal' because the 'TSH' says so.

    There have been quite a few who have been diagnosed with mental health problems but are actually hypo/hyper.

    For instance this link is about one of the Top Endocrinologists' appearance in front of the American Thyroid Association's conference. He has now pronounced (more or less) that clinical symptoms do not exist as they are a Somatization Disorder.

    healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

    No wonder we are seething at times.

  • Every person on this forum has been let down by at least one - if not several - ignorant, arrogant, unapologetic maimers and misdiagnosers. They are corrupt, self-serving, flatulent, pompous, bloated, condescending people who collude, cover and hide every failure. Their fellow colleagues and admin staff lie for them - and they all know this, as does the GMC. So you're stuffed.

    There are one or two non-Nhs groups that you can google, who were interviewed in various horrifying documentaries about the Nhs's scandalous failures and they might be able to advise.

  • I wholeheartedly agrre with you I sued the NHS 6 years ago and doctors are still getting revenge every time I see them.

  • Personally I would save your much needed energy for following your route to wellness. Trying to sue will take years and years and again so much of your energy - both physical and mental. I often joke that I could have retired years ago having been able to gain from the various medical errors and wrong diagnoses in my life.

    Having been told that I didn't know the difference between my back passage and my front after having two children - then you know you are onto a loser. The blood loss preceded the diagnosis for ileo-caecal - gut - TB and Crohns :-) Apparently there was nothing wrong...according to the surgeon at the hospital in Peterborough over 45 years ago - three years later I was in hospital for 22 weeks in Bristol.... was just glad to be alive at the end of it all.

    So glad the T3 is working well for you - keep listening to your body and try to quieten the mind - fill it with all the positive and beautiful things in your life....working towards optimal health takes courage and strength....

    Glad you have had the support of others too....

  • Thanks folks for your considered replies. I have studied a bit of law & realised it would be an uphill struggle against the NHS. Best wishes & hugs to you all.

  • Its more like a upmounting struggle

  • I would request sight of your medical files held by your GP. From experience, a consultant psychiatrist would have written a report following your consultation and a copy of this report should have been forwarded to your GP. The GP should have then referred you to an Endo.

    As others have said. you will exhaust yourself and make yourself more unwell if you take on the profession. Think about yourself now.........

  • Thanks Holby. I'm finding I have to keep mega busy to get rid of this anger I've got now. Have studied some law & would so love to sue them --- but really no chance of success. Hugs

  • Thank you. I too have worked within the law and I also commenced a claim on one occasion. I think I would have won the case but gave up after two years as the process was absolutely awful and wore me down. Take care...

  • Agree with the above who said they close ranks, because they absolutely do. You have to prove negligence to successfully claim against them which you wont be able to do IF they were following the guidelines.

    the second Psych, said it was endocrine but do you actually know if he requested that the GP refer you, after all hypothyroidism is an endocrinologic illness which the guidelines state can be treated by the GP. Unless you can prove that there was an underlying complication which the GP should have seen then you'll have a really hard job of proving negligence. The GPs follow the guidelines so they cant be sued regardless of patient health or well being.

  • Hi - I'm sorry I can not help but I feel where you are coming from. I've been badly managed since I was 8yrs old and of course been told countless times that it is all in my head. I went to a walk in and it was someone there who suggested thyroid. I have done my own research got off thyroxine and I too am just on the mend. I've lost years of my life and 3 good jobs, friends etc. I've decided to try and spread the word inc. promoting the current Thyroid UK e petition to neighbours, community, celebrities, the media etc. I'll also be sending a letter to my MP and every Dr I've seen over the last 12 yrs to broader the knowledge! I've found it helps a bit. I hope you finally feel better and continue to do so x

  • Hi - I agree with Marz's advice, and Holby's advice to think about yourself now. Your anger is justified, but not good for you. Anger makes people ill. Fighting legal battles makes people ill. The most important thing now is to enjoy life, doing whatever is necessary to get emotionally free from the loss and anger. You have doors to fulfillment and fun open ahead of you -- walk through them into a new life and leave the bad stuff in the past. Hard, but do-able. Life can be very good from now on. All the best.

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