Courts

Thursday 24 July 2014

Six allegations over woman's death withdrawn in GP probe

Jerome Reilly

Published 17/01/2014|02:30

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Pictured leaving the Medical Council yesterday was the late Vicki Core's parents Thomas and Maureen with their son Ian Core.
Pic Steve Humphreys
16th January 2014.
Pictured leaving the Medical Council yesterday was the late Vicki Core's parents, Thomas and Maureen, with their son Ian Core. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Vicki Core
Vicki Core

SIX of the 11 allegations of professional misconduct made against a GP following a young woman's death have been withdrawn.

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Among the allegations withdrawn against 'Dr A' on the second day of a Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee inquiry is that he altered his medical records after the death of trainee hair stylist Vicki Core (20) on July 1, 2007.

Ms Core, from Tallaght, Dublin, died in an ambulance on the way to her local hospital from cardiac arrest linked to bronchial pneumonia, a post mortem revealed.

Less than 24 hours before she collapsed at home, she had visited 'Dr A' at a walk-in clinic and was told she had gastric flu, it was claimed at the inquiry this week.

The doctor, it is alleged, prescribed Motilium, a branded treatment for stomach upsets that is available over the counter from pharmacies.

Evidence was previously heard from Vicki Core's mother and father, Thomas and Maureen, and 'Dr B', who works in the same surgery as 'Dr A' and who had been Vicki Core's regular GP for most of her life.

Neither doctor can be named after a ruling by the committee.

Yesterday's proceedings were dominated by expert evidence on behalf of the Medical Council CEO by Dr Donal Buckley, an experienced GP. He was cross-examined by Ciaran Craven BL on behalf of 'Dr A'.

After his evidence had concluded, Neasa Bird BL, for the Medical Council CEO, said it was now withdrawing six of the 11 allegations.

Those withdrawn include that he failed to procure a complete medical history of Vicki Core and failed to give adequate consideration to the results of a blood test previously taken by his colleague 'Dr B'.

Other allegations withdrawn include that he failed to refer Vicki Core to hospital and did not maintain adequate records.

The allegation that he made additions to his records after he became aware of the patient's death was also withdrawn, as was an allegation that he failed to consult with more specialised clinical practitioners.

PNEUMONIA

The remaining allegations include that 'Dr A' failed to carry out all appropriate examinations of Vicki Core; failed to carry out and/or arrange appropriate investigations; failed to give adequate consideration to other more serious diagnoses and failed to arrange a follow-up consultation.

After counsel for the Medical Council announced that she was withdrawing six of the 11 allegations, counsel for 'Dr A' asked for a "direction" (dismissal) on the remaining allegations.

The committee turned down the application. They said that they wanted to hear the evidence of 'Dr A' or evidence adduced on his behalf.

Mr Craven, for Dr A, said his client strongly refuted the remaining allegations against him. He applied for the case to be adjourned.

The inquiry will reconvene, provisionally, on February 17.

Irish Independent

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