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'GP negligence' to blame for sarcoma litigation cases, study claims

A study has said that negligence by GPs is the leading cause of sarcoma litigation cases, a claim which has been strongly challenged by GP cancer experts.

The study, by specialists from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and published in the Journal of Surgical Oncology, investigated claims relating specifically to sarcomas made against the NHS trusts in England and Wales across a 15-year period.

Negligence was confirmed in 71% of the 53 claims and reportedly cost the NHS a total of £4.4 million, with an average of £84,000 per case - £14,000 higher than the average medical negligence claim.

Of the confirmed negligence cases, 89% were found to be due to a delay in diagnosis, with the study putting an emphasis on delayed recognition of sarcomas at a primary care level.

But cancer experts have rebuffed the claims, and have stated that delays are just as likely to occur at a secondar

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