Saturday 19 October 2019

Consultant accused of misconduct criticises admin level

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

A CONSULTANT accused of professional misconduct after a cancer patient had a crucial biopsy delayed for five months, has criticised the level of secretarial support given for public patients.

However, Dr Etop Sampson Akpan denied Sharon McEneaney would have been treated any differently had she been a private patient.

But the consultant said there was a "huge difference" between the level of administrative support between his public and private practices.

Dr Akpan is facing 11 allegations of professional misconduct arising from the case of Ms McEneaney who faced delays in her treatment for abdominal cancer at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth. He is contesting the allegations.


Ms McEneaney (31), from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, died in April 2009. A decision to carry out a biopsy was made in February 2008 -- but this was not performed until five months later in July.

A Medical Council fitness to practice inquiry heard that she had "slipped off the client list" of Dr Akpan.

Dr Akpan, from Nigeria, told the hearing yesterday he was under "physical and mental stress" at the time and had a heavy workload.

The consultant left a note on Ms McEneaney's chart for his registrar directing that a biopsy be performed. Dr Akpan said he was "horrified" when he learned in early July that the biopsy had never been carried out.

Dr Peter Boylan, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said Dr Akpan had an unsustainable workload at the time.

He said it was entirely appropriate to delegate the organising of the biopsy to his registrar.

The hearing continues on January 27.

Irish Independent

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