A DOCTOR is retiring from general practice only weeks before an NHS panel was due to decide on her future.
A Primary Care Trust Performers Regulatory Panel meeting on November 6 was set to consider complaints against Dr Elizabeth Bradley, of Terrington Surgery near Malton, who was strongly criticised over her treatment of a cancer patient earlier this year.
The panel was due to decide whether there were patient safety issues and any further action was needed, which could have included limitations on Dr Bradley’s working practice, suspension for further investigation or removal from the local performers’ list, meaning she could not practise as a GP.
A spokesperson for the surgery said Dr Bradley, pictured, was retiring from general practice and the surgery was to merge with Helmsley Surgery to ensure patients in Terrington benefited by the continuation of the village surgery.
“For the short to medium term, the surgery at Terrington will be covered by a team of regular GPs providing a choice of male and female GPs,” he said.
The Press reported in January that Dr Bradley had wrongly diagnosed Christine Hutchinson, of Westow, near Malton, as suffering from fibromyalgia. Her spine was later found to have collapsed and she was diagnosed as suffering from the cancer myeloma.
The Health Service Ombudsman said the doctor’s standard of care fell so far short of the applicable standard as to amount to “service failure,’ and he subsequently revealed he had concerns about other patients’ safety because the GP had failed to produce an adequate action plan to address the serious failings. Mrs Hutchinson said yesterday she was pleased Dr Bradley would no longer be practising but angry the panel hearing would no longer be held to consider complaints by her and other patients. “Too many questions remain unanswered,” she claimed.
However, she said she had been assured by the General Medical Council (GMC), which decided in August to reopen an investigation into Dr Bradley’s fitness to practise, that it would be continuing with this probe.
Two patients have contacted The Press to express their support for Dr Bradley. Dermot Gray said he had had no complaints about her in 23 years of treatment, while Michael Ashby-Arnold said he had found her to be a first-class doctor who had looked after the Terrington community extremely well.
The primary care trust, NHS North Yorkshire and York, said it continued to work with the GMC, which was the professional regulator, on this matter.
“The PCT has a responsibility to manage the performance of its contractors, however, in instances such as these, regulatory panels are always private proceedings,” said a spokesman.