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Langley Medical Practice woman 'was fobbed off by GPs' before cervical cancer death

A 25-year-old Londoner who died of cervical cancer felt she was "fobbed off" when she went to her GPs with worrying symptoms, the High Court has heard.

Sophie Hague died at her Surbiton home in November 2011 after enduring a hysterectomy, two unsuccessful cycles of chemo-radiotherapy and emergency surgery from which she never recovered.

Her mother Suzanne and fiance, David Rich, claim there was an inappropriate delay in diagnosing Ms Hague, who visited Langley Medical Practice in November 2009 and February 2010 complaining of pain and bleeding - but was not physically examined on either occasion or referred.

Ms Hague was not diagnosed until June 2010, after she told her mother that she felt "fobbed off" by Dr John Dalzell and Dr Daniel Fish and a scan was arranged.

On Tuesday in London, the family's counsel, Adam Korn, told Mr Justice Lewis that it was alleged that the GPs wrongly and negligently failed to take seriously enough Ms Hague's complaints and make an onward referral for specialist diagnosis and treatment.

Mr Korn said both doctors had admitted breach of duty and it was accepted that Ms Hague should have had a pelvic examination.

But, there was a dispute between experts for both sides as to legal causation, with the defence contending that earlier diagnosis and treatment would have made no difference to the outcome.

The defence case was that the tumour was so aggressive that Ms Hague would have died whenever surgery was performed.

While the family's experts did not dispute that the tumour was highly aggressive, they maintained that, if caught early enough, the prognosis was positive.
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Mr Korn said that the sole issue for the judge was whether or not, on the balance of probabilities, Ms Hague would have lived if the GPs had treated her appropriately and she had gone to surgery earlier.

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday.

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