The case concerned a hypothetical situation that would have existed had the Claimant been referred for necessary investigations sooner. The test to be applied was set out by Lord Browne-Wilkinson in Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority  UKHL 46. The two-stage test, as applied to this case, was:
(a) what would the treating clinicians have done had the breach of duty not occurred? And
(b) if the treating clinicians had not discussed with the Claimant the option of surgery or radical radiotherapy, would that have been negligent?
The Court held that the Bolam test has no relevance to the first of those questions but was relevant to the second question, however, it should now be considered by reference to the decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board  UKSC 11.