RE: Russ, Ian what's the scoop on Path/UK/DX/errors?

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From:Emma Carter <>
To:'Sarah Christo' <>,

Just briefly......

Situation is 72 year old Pathologist Locum made errors whilst screening, and
some 200 patients have been contacted by the relevant authorites who think
they are affected. Patients were misdiagnosed, and some received unnecessary
treatment, and others were told they were in the clear when they werent.
He has now (aged 78) removed himself from the list of the GMC, which means
that no action will be taken by the GMC, because they are only interested in
current practitioners not ex ones, but yesterday he apologized for his

One of the problems is that there are not enough Pathologists to go round,
so hospital trusts have to rely on Locum staff, often at a time when the
backlog of work is enormous. Quite why checks were not carried out is
unclear, although i do know that there was a comment made about him by one
pathologist to another in about 1994, but since this was during an informal
conversation and not an official complaint no action was instigated.

This is another clear case of not enough money being given to hospital
trusts in order to employ staff. One in 10 pathology vacances goes unfilled,
leading to overwork and pressure on the others......

I dont know if people have heard of another recent scare, where women in a
particular area were wrongly given the results of tests for Downs Syndrome,
and were told that their chances were much lower than they really are. This
affects me more personally, because it concerns a friend of mine and his
partner, who were told that instead of their chances being 1 in 300 it is in
fact 1 in 100. This is an awful thing to be told, especially when 25 weeks
into a pregnancy......8-( I think all is well though...the sonograms show
everything to be fine, but even so, it is another unnecessary worry for

On that joyful note, i am off to slice some mice.........(well stain some
brain actaully, but....)

I may have missed something, i am sure Russ or Ian can contribute more...

emma carter
Oxford BioMedica Uk (Ltd)

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Sarah Christo 
> Sent:	Tuesday, June 13, 2000 8:03 PM
> To:
> Subject:	Russ, Ian what's the scoop on Path/UK/DX/errors?
> Just checking the BBC UK news and saw an article on a pathologist Dr James
> Elwood who was a doctor who made hundreds of mistakes was allowed to
> continue working in the health service despite concerns about his work
> dating back years.  
>   What about all those UK standards we hear about so much on the Net???
> Hum?
> Sarah Christo, HT (ASCP)
> Research Associate, Histology Lab
> Texas A&M University
> College of Veterinary Medicine
> Dept. of Vet Anatomy & Public Health
> College Station, TX  77843-4458
> phone: (979) 845-3177
> fax:  (979) 458-3499

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