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Four of Stafford’s doctors face no disciplinary action

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Four of Stafford Hospital’s senior doctors will not face disciplinary action despite having been involved in the neglect and abuse scandal that the hospital has been recently criticised for. The General Medical Council has investigated Dr John Gibson, Dr Valerie Suarez, Dr David Durrans and Dr Dermot Mulherin, all with senior management positions, yet the regulator has said that the cases are being dropped against each of them.

The cases have been dropped as legal advice suggested that there would be “no realistic prospect” of success. The decision has been made after the public inquiry was published in February, showing that those held accountable for the unnecessary neglect and suffering experienced at the hospital were not punished. During the time of the scandal, Prime Minister David Cameron said that “some difficult questions” were to be answered by the GMC and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Poor management is to blame

Since that time, three nurses have been struck off the nursing register, with one disciplinary hearing still underway. The GMC has not struck anyone off but has given warnings and advice to doctors working at Stafford Hospital.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: “Following the extensive investigations we have undertaken there is not the evidence to establish either misconduct or impairment against any of the doctors.

Tom Kark, who worked on the public enquiry, argues that although there is evidence of poor management in the trust, not one of the doctors can be held entirely accountable for the scandal.

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