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Doctor guilty of misconduct over dead patient’s test results

8 June 2009

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The General Medical Council`s Fitness to Practise panel has ruled that a doctor who destroyed the test results of a patient who died two days after visiting him is not likely to repeat his misconduct.

Dr Graham Bond, of the Tieve Tara Medical Centre in Castleford, West Yorkshire, had carried out an electrocardiogram (ECG) on the male patient, known as Mr A, after he complained of shoulder pain.

The printout showed a clear abnormality, but Dr Bond initially failed to see it because he was distracted by interference on the machine. He only realised his error when he reassessed the ECG after learning that his patient had collapsed and died while watching television.

Dr Bond explained to the panel that he then destroyed the results, not to hide his error but because he had “lost control” of his emotions. He also admitted he did not inform the coroner that his earlier assessment that the ECG was “normal” was incorrect.

The panel ruled he was guilty of misconduct in relation to both his behaviour with the ECG and not correcting the coroner’s office in Hull but it decided his fitness to practise was not impaired.

Panel chairman David Kyle said: “It is the Panel’s opinion that… your misconduct does not now present a risk to patients and it does not continue to damage the confidence of the public in the profession.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009