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Anger after GP who failed to spot cancer allowed to practise

12 August 2010

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A father has said it is “diabolical” that a GP who failed to spot symptoms of cervical cancer in his daughter has escaped being struck off the medical register.

Nicola Sams, 26, complained of irregular bleeding and abdominal pain over a five year period, but her GP did not conduct an internal examination. Miss Sams later died after the disease spread.

Dr Navin Shankar has been allowed to continue working as a doctor subject to conditions for the next 18 months – even though it was ruled that he fell “seriously short” of the standards expected.

At an earlier hearing, the General Medical Council (GMC) found that Dr Shankar’s misconduct put patient safety at risk and ruled that his fitness to practise was impaired.

Miss Sams’ father Mike said that relatives were horrified at the prospect of the GP returning to work.

“We’re very very shocked at this news that he’s still potentially able to practise maybe a couple of years down the line,” he told ITV News.

“Having been with Nikki until the end of her tender life was very traumatic and I dread to think if anybody had to go what I went through.

“It’s something I think about daily but it’s absolutely diabolical.”

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