“Mind the Gap!” was the asbestos message at GP conference
Mind the Gap was the message to GPs from both Asbestos Action and Clydebank Asbestos Group as representatives of the Scottish panel groups at Asbestos Victims Forum UK.
We headed along to one of the biggest GP events Royal College of General Practitioners Annual Primary Care Conference & Exhibition held in Glasgow on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th October.
Our primary goal was to raise awareness with GPs about the help and assistance available to people diagnosed with an asbestos related disease via Forum support groups and the rights of victims and their families to claim benefits, or civil damages.
The stark warning to health professionals is that victims of asbestos disease in Scotland could miss out on their right to pursue a civil damages claim if they do not raise a case within 3 years of diagnosis of any asbestos related disease.
What does this mean? Asbestos victims who later develop a separate asbestos disease that is life threatening could be barred from seeking damages if they did not take legal steps to claim compensation following an earlier diagnosis of a less serious asbestos disease. For example, people diagnosed with pleural plaques in Scotland are able to seek damages in Scotland, unlike in England and Wales, but many health professionals still regard this condition as benign or clinically insignificant.
John Fearn, Manager of Forum group Asbestos Action commented, “This event was a real success. I was quite surprised how many GP’s we chatted with who were unaware of the potential entitlement of asbestos victims or their families to receive benefits or seek compensation. Hopefully by us being there at the conference we have begun to fill that gap in knowledge.”