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Calls for patients to know if doctor is under supervision

A nurse, who is dying from cancer, has called for changes in the NHS against secrecy in the medical professional that allows doctors to continue working when under sanctions by the General Medical Council (GMC) or suspected of serious failings, without their patients being informed.

Debbie Westwick speaks from experience when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, which has now spread and is terminal. Unbeknown to Debbie, her oncologist was subject to supervision by the GMC, for a reason it will not disclose. Plus, the surgeon who operated on her was suspended halfway through her treatment, and later sacked.

Debbie was awarded compensation for failures of care in her treatment, but does not want pity. Instead, she wants patients to have the right to know about doctors’ alleged faults.

Swain &Co.specialise in claims relating to failure to diagnose and treat cancer.

Specialist medical and clinical negligence lawyer Graeme Swain of Swain & Co. says, “The GMC does not disclose information as to why a doctor’s practice may be restricted in cases where health issues are present or if investigations are on-going.  It is important to know if ‘health’ can refer to doctors that have drug and/or alcohol problems. This is just not acceptable for patients; they have rights and should know if the person they are trusting with their health is suspected of serious failings.”

It appears that this view is not shared by the NHS, and that it believes it has a duty to protect the doctors unless findings are made against the doctor.

Graeme adds, “Patients rely on their doctors to provide the best care and advice, and the NHS has a duty to protect patients, particularly vulnerable ones. Patients safeguards should be the priority.”

In Debbie Westwick’s case, her life has been gravely affected. If you have been affected a by medical mistake, contact Swain & Co. We have a specialist team that handles medical and clinical negligence cases. We can deal with cases under no win no fee arrangements as well as under legal aid and insurance arrangements. And you get 100% of the compensation you deserve, guaranteed.

Ask for Graeme Swain or Tina Smith using the free phone number 0800 0351 999 or landline 02392 483322 (Portsmouth/Havant and Liverpool) or call Melanie Lidstone-Land on 02380 631111 (Southampton andLondon).

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