A young girl who had to have both her legs amputated after a doctor gave advice over the telephone rather than making a house call is likely to receive over £1m in compensation.
Lydia Cross, who was two years old at the time she was taken ill, began vomiting and was delirious on the same day that her seven-month-old sister was discharged from hospital after recovering from septicaemia and suspected meningitis. When her mother called the local surgery three days later, the doctor decided to give his medical advice over the phone, even though he was asked to make a house call.
Later that afternoon, Lydia's father realised her condition was much worse and he took her to the doctor's surgery where the seriousness of her condition became clear. After emergency treatment at the surgery, she was admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with septicaemia. By that time, she had suffered multiple organ failure and gangrene had spread to her extremities. As a result Lydia had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee.
When Lydia's family first brought a claim on her behalf, the doctor disputed whether a house call would have made any difference to the outcome of her case. Recently, however, his medical insurers have admitted 85 per cent liability and agreed to a settlement.
It is thought that Lydia will receive more than £1m in compensation.