GPs face manslaughter charges

The mother of a twelve year old who died after a four month battle from an undiagnosed illness, has revealed how GPs ignored her concerns. Carol Morse, told Cardiff Crown Court how her GP told her “I’m the doctor” after raising concerns for her son Ryan before he died from an undiagnosed but treatable Addison’s disease.

Dr Lindsey Thomas and Dr Joanne Rudling are facing charges of manslaughter by negligence, after they failed to recognise Ryan was dying despite his mother describing his symptoms. The court heard that the GPs at Abernant Surgery in Abertillery Wales, also failed to act over the Mrs Morse’s concerns of her son, whose weight plunged to four stone. Ryan fell ill in 2012 and was taken to see Dr Ian Jones, Mrs Morse said: “I said Ryan’s not been well. He’s come home from his school trip and he wasn’t making sense when his sister was talking to him. I said he’s complaining of a headache, a sore throat.” She also told the court that when she suggested it could have been glandular fever Dr Jones told her he was the doctor and Ryan was suffering from a virus.

When Ryan’s condition failed to improve Mrs Morse brought him back to the surgery where another GP Dr Adam Southan also failed to recognise the symptoms despite Ryan’s skin colouring. The issue of Ryan’s weight loss was not addressed and he was not given blood tests. In December 2012 Mrs Morse was on phone with Dr Thomas and Dr Rudling, twenty-four hours before Ryan’s death. The two doctors are accused of manslaughter and failing to recognise the seriousness of Ryan’s condition. Dr Rudling has also faced accusations of altering Ryan’s medical notes days after his death. Prosecuting John Price said: “Both GPs could have called an ambulance. If they had done as they should, his life would have been saved.”

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