Parents Outraged After Panel Allows Epilepsy Doctor To Practice
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 2, 2006
LEICESTER, ENGLAND--Parents of children who were misdiagnosed with epilepsy said they would seek to overturn a medical panel's decision to allow Dr. Andrew Holton to continue to practice medicine.
The General Medical Council's fitness-to-practice committee announced on January 27 that, despite performance it considered "seriously deficient", Holton would be allowed to work with certain conditions. Those conditions, according to the BBC, include ongoing assessments and continuing improvement of Holton's communication skills.
Holton, 53, worked as a neurology consultant at Leicester Royal Infirmary for 11 years beginning in 1990. He was suspended in May 2001 following complaints from parents and pediatricians about his rude behavior and high rate of epilepsy diagnoses.
An internal hospital investigation later found Holton had misdiagnosed epilepsy in 618 of 1,948 children he had treated, and had improperly prescribed high doses of epilepsy medications for 500 children. The Department of Health later found complaints and concerns about Holton dating back to 1995, and learned that he often prescribed up to five anti-convulsant drugs to the same child at one time.
Some parents told the BBC that they would be turning to the Council for Regulatory Health Care Excellence to demand that the GMC's ruling be overturned.
"If they believe, as we do, that there has been an injustice here, they can apply to the High Court, who can then overturn this decision for the protection of the public," said Adrian Stevenson, chair of the Leicester Epilepsy Parents Group.
"Epilepsy doctor allowed to work" (BBC News)