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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 15:48 GMT
Pc 'fobbed off' over MS diagnosis
Pc Gary Dimmock
Pc Dimmock moved house, thinking he was in reasonable health
A policeman whose hospital doctors failed to tell him he had multiple sclerosis (MS) has received over 10,000 compensation.

Sussex Pc Gary Dimmock, 42, was referred by his GP in 1992 with possible MS symptoms, but was not told he had the disease until 2003.

"I was fobbed off and made to feel like a paranoid hypochondriac," said Mr Dimmock, from Westham, East Sussex.

East Sussex Hospitals Trust apologised for any distress caused.

Between 1992 and 2003, Mr Dimmock saw a series of health professionals including ophthalmologists, urologists, gastroenterologists and neurologists.

When I saw the medical notes for the first time I cried
Pc Gary Dimmock

He was told there was nothing seriously wrong, but consultants' notes written in 1992 at Eastbourne District General Hospital said: "Impression? MS".

"Medical experts now say it was clear as far back as 1995 that Mr Dimmock had MS," said his solicitor Gillian Solly.

"His medical advisers decided it was not necessary to tell him."

Mr Dimmock received the payout in an out-of-court settlement after suing the trust, in a case funded by the Police Federation.

He argued that if he had begun treatment as far back as 1995, his MS would have been manageable instead of his symptoms becoming worse.

"When I saw the medical notes for the first time I cried," he said.

"They were littered with references to MS."

'No right'

Ms Solly said Mr Dimmock's wife Lisa, 41, gave up her job as a police constable thinking he was in reasonable health.

"They had more children and moved to a larger house with an increased mortgage, assuming he would be well enough to work and pay for the extra expenses," she said.

"He is now seriously ill but understands his medical condition and is able to work around it."

Mrs Dimmock said: "The medical profession has no right to withhold information over such a serious health matter.

"To put him through nearly eight years of tests in various departments of the hospital, with the stress and the worry, is shameful."

A spokeswoman for the trust said: "We apologise to Mr Dimmock for not sharing with him at an earlier stage that his symptoms may be attributable to multiple sclerosis."

How Pc Gary Dimmock is coping with his MS

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