This site is intended for health professionals only

Man died after deficient consultation with out-of-hours doctor

13 November 2008

Share this article

A deficient consultation by an out-of-hours doctor was followed by the death of a disabled epileptic patient from Swindon, a coroner has heard.

Dr David De Villiers told an inquest at Trowbridge Town Hall that he had been too busy for a proper consultation before prescribing the anti-nausea drug Buccastem.

Andrew Dodson, 36, later suffered a seizure at his home in Penhill. He had experienced 15 hours of sickness and diarrhoea  before his family contacted the out-of-hours service at the Clover Centre in Swindon’s Great Western Hospital.

Before recording a narrative verdict, Wiltshire coroner David Masters said: “What Dr De Villiers doesn’t do is ask about any pre-existing condition in Andrew. He therefore doesn’t learn as clearly as he should have done about Andrew’s pre-existing epileptic condition.

“Neither does he ask about what medication Andrew is on despite being told he is on medication. He’s told that Andrew has suggested he should be admitted to hospital, but doesn’t ask why Andrew believes that to be the situation.

“Again, Dr De Villiers doesn’t advise as to what the family should do if Andrew’s condition changed or worsened and very fairly and frankly, Dr De Villiers accepts those deficiencies.”

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Swindon PCT

Related story: Inquest told GP too busy for proper consultation