Darlaston leukaemia blunders doctor is suspended

A family doctor who made a series of blunders while treating a young girl suffering from leukaemia has been suspended for 12 months.

Dr Jaffar Shah provided poor care for the youngster, known as Patient X, while a partner at the Darlaston Health Centre in Pinfold Street, Darlaston, between 1999 and 2010.

He has been found guilty of misconduct by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS). Patient X was born in 1994 and by the age of two was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. She underwent intensive treatment from an early age, including a bone marrow transplant in 1997 following a relapse in her condition.

Dr Shah failed to provide adequate care for  the youngster in a number of areas including failing to recognise or act upon the girl’s deterioration.

Chairman of the panel determining the allegations which faced Dr Shah, Carrie Ryan-Palmer, said the doctor’s misconduct was ‘of a serious nature’.

“Patient X was a vulnerable young pati-ent with a life-threatening condition,” said Mrs Ryan-Palmer. “As such, she was reliant on the medical professionals who were res- ponsible for her care to monitor her clinical condition. The panel is satisfied Dr Shah’s actions amount to misconduct, and that his misconduct was of a serious nature.”

Dr Shah failed to instigate safeguarding policies despite the girl’s consistent failure to attend appointments to manage her life-threatening condition. He also failed to act upon her low BMI and appetite.

Dr Shah has been suspended from medical work for the next 12 months following the panel’s determination of his guilt at the Manchester hearing yesterday. Dr Shah, who did not attend the hearing, had indicated that he planned to retire.