Pelka's Coventry Doctor Won't Be Struck Off

The fitness to practise of a GP who failed to arrange an urgent examination of a four-old-boy from Coventry who was later murdered by his parents was not impaired by his misconduct, a disciplinary panel has ruled.

Dr Mohammad Pathan failed to arrange an appointment with Daniel Pelka after receiving an ``unusual'' and worried phone call from his school teacher weeks before his death.

After the six-minute call concerning the schoolboy's weight loss, Dr Pathan failed to make an ``adequate record'' of the information or arrange for an appointment.

But the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel concluded that the doctor of 44 years had ``learned from his mistakes'' and said they did not believe him to present a risk to patients.

The hearing will reconvene next month to make a decision on whether it is necessary to place a warning on the doctor's registration.

Daniel - who was referred to as ``Patient A'' during the MPTS hearing - was beaten and left to die after six months of starvation and cruelty at the hands of his mother Magdelena Luczak and her partner Mariusz Krezolek at their home in Coventry.

The Polish couple were sentenced to life imprisonment in August 2013 after they were convicted of murdering Daniel who was left to die after suffering a fatal head injury in March 2012.

Today the panel concluded that Dr Pathan's actions had ``represented serious departures from acceptable standards of practice'' and amounted to misconduct.

Chairwoman of the panel Sheila Hollingworth said: ``The Panel considered that although this was a single clinical incident, it demonstrated multiple failures on your part.

``Having considered the evidence, the Panel was satisfied that your failings, which it considered relate to fundamental elements of general practice, represented serious departures from acceptable standards of practice and amounted to misconduct.

``The Panel noted that this was a single clinical incident in a long career as a GP and it is the only complaint received by the GMC in relation to your practice. Having considered the evidence of your remediation, the Panel is satisfied that you are now more enlightened in respect of safeguarding issues and that you are unlikely to repeat the failings identified in this case.

``In this context, the Panel considered that you have shown insight into your failings in relation to Patient A and it is satisfied that you have learned from your mistakes and that you do not currently present a risk to patients.''

A serious case review was carried out by the Coventry Safeguarding Children Board in September 2013 and found that for a period of at least six months prior to his death he was starved, assaulted, neglected and abused.

The MPTS heard that on January 25 2012 Dr Pathan received a phone call from the little boy's headteacher at Little Heath Primary School in Coventry, Gillian Mulhall.

In the call she raised concerns about Daniel's loss of weight, appearance and behaviour concerning food. But Dr Pathan had denied that Patient A's weight loss or appearance was mentioned to him.

Following the call, Dr Pathan ``failed to attach sufficient weight'' to the information and failed to take ``adequate account'' of other information available in that the boy had missed follow up treatment.

The hearing was also told that Dr Pathan failed to identify that Patient A's mother may not attend the surgery at the request of Mrs Mulhall.

Dr Pathan who has practised for 44 years admitted that he failed to put a safety net in place and failed to record adequate details.

It was submitted by the General Medical Council that Dr Pathan's failings had resulted in a ``missed opportunity'' for Patient A to be seen.

But Dr Pathan's counsel told the panel that his actions did not amount to serious misconduct and could not be said to represent ``a serious or persistent'' failure.

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