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Doctor rapped for cancer errors faces criticism over correspondence to patient Christine Hutchinson
8:23am Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Ryedale news
A MEDICAL director has met a North Yorkshire GP to discuss an “unsatisfactory” action plan drawn up by the doctor, following strong criticism of her treatment of a cancer patient.
Dr Elizabeth Bradley sent Ryedale patient Christine Hutchinson a one-page plan explaining briefly what remedies had been adopted at Terrington Surgery to deal with identified issues, including poor note-keeping, results handling and complaint handling.
The remedies listed included “implementation of new clinical software”, and “Read Good Medical Practice”.
But Mrs Hutchinson, 65, of Westow, near Malton, claimed the document only arrived after several deadlines set by the Health Service Ombudsman had passed. It also had no covering letter and used specialist clinical language she did not understand, including acronyms such as “MDDUS” with no explanation.
She complained to NHS North Yorkshire and York, and medical director Dr David Geddes wrote back saying: “Clearly, this is unsatisfactory.”
He said he had asked Dr Bradley to meet with him last Thursday when they would review all the correspondence sent by the doctor to Mrs Hutchinson, to what extent this was within the timescale originally set, and the extent to which the GP had undertaken tasks asked of her by the PCT and Health Service Ombudsman.
Dr Geddes said after the meeting: “We are continuing to work with Mrs Hutchinson and Dr Bradley to find an agreeable solution to Mrs Hutchinson’s complaint.”
The Press newspaper reported in January how the Health Service Ombudsman said the GP had wrongly diagnosed Mrs Hutchinson as suffering from fibromyalgia without examining her and prescribed diazepam and later ibuprofen after she paid repeated visits with her partner to the surgery in worsening pain.
Th Ombudsman said the GP’s standard of care for Mrs Hutchinson and her record-keeping both fell so far short of the applicable standard as to amount to “service failure”.
Dr Bradley declined to comment yesterday, but she apologised earlier this year for any distress or prolonged pain caused to Mrs Hutchinson by any actions of the practice, acknowledged the service provided to her had failed, and said the practice had taken the opportunity of learning from the failings and made several changes, including the handling of complaints.