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Anthony Haycroft secures the finding of no impairment at the MPTS

24th October 2019

Anthony Haycroft successfully defended a consultant cardiologist before the MPT, the doctor faced a host of clinical negligence allegations and also those of discrimination in respect of his treatment of a patient with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome).

The patient had a number of health conditions and difficulties of which the cardiac condition was only one. The doctor examined the patient and found there was no need to intervene at that stage. He had always volunteered and admitted that he should have carried out an echocardiogram sooner than he had planned. In doing so he was following hospital protocol but he also had the benefit of a CT scan which neither expert had the relevant expertise to interpret.

Unknown to the doctor and in breach of guidelines and hospital policies, there were a series of failures by other doctors and nursing staff to notice and act upon the patient’s subsequent deteriorating condition. When the doctor next reviewed the patient, being called urgently, he carried out a challenging emergency procedure but did so successfully. Unfortunately the patient was overcome by their already severely deteriorated condition, for which the doctor was not responsible.

The GMC‘s case was constructed on top of the admitted failure and was heavily dependent upon expert evidence. After over a week of evidence and four days of deliberations the MPT produced a 27 page determination which effectively dismissed all of the challenged allegations against him. They accepted the doctor’s evidence and that of his expert Dr Nicholas Pegge.

Despite their findings on the facts, the GMC maintained that the submitted failure was serious misconduct. The MPT rejected this argument acceding  to the submissions of Mr Haycroft that  not only was this not serious misconduct in all of the circumstances but even if it had been, the doctor’s subsequent extensive remediation meant that on any view his fitness to practice was not impaired.

Mr Haycroft was instructed by Kirsty Jeeves of the MDU.

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