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Medicolegal matters

GP follow up after hospital discharge: avoiding the pitfalls

Naomi Lewis, Walid Jammal

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Abstract

Articles in this series highlight common medicolegal issues in general practice. Written by the claims and advocacy team at medical defence organisation Avant, the series is based on actual cases, with some details changed for privacy. Here, the GP’s contribution is analysed in the death of a 15-year-old girl who was misdiagnosed in a hospital emergency department and discharged for GP follow up.

Article Extract

Every day, GPs make clinical decisions based on the information provided in hospital discharge summaries. But to what extent should GPs rely on the hospital’s assessment? And if the patient subsequently brings a ‘failure to diagnose’ claim against the hospital, what scrutiny may the GP’s care be subjected to?

Picture credit: © Sturti/iStockphoto. Model used for illustrative purposes only.

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