A GP who sent a four-year-old girl home with a fatal pneumonia infection can continue practicing medicine after a hearing found he had “learned his lesson”.
Dr Shoab Ibrahim failed to listen to the concerns of the girl’s parents and did not carry out “simple but important” tests that would have shown she was seriously ill.
He sent them home with instructions to keep giving their daughter over-the-counter children’s medicine Calpol.
Tragically, within hours the girl collapsed and died after succumbing to the infection she had been fighting for up to a week.
Ibrahim, who practices at the Robert Frew Medical Centre, in Silva Island Way, Wickford, was told by the General Medical Council he was guilty of misconduct in his treatment of the girl, but that his failings were “highly unlikely to be repeated”.
Panel chairman Sheleen McCormack told him: “You have shown insight into your misconduct and you have remedied the deficiencies in this case.
“The panel does not consider your fitness to practice is impaired.”
Ibrahim first diagnosed the girl – only named in court as “Hannah” – with an upper respiratory chest infection after seeing her at the surgery on December 29, 2008.
She had fallen ill during a family trip to the pantomime at Basildon’s Towngate Theatre a few days earlier.
Ibrahim told the girl’s mother to give her Calpol. He reassured the parents that she would have recovered in three to four days.
Hannah deteriorated rapidly and on January 2 her parents took her back to see Ibrahim for an emergency appointment.
Ibrahim remarked “you are back again” when they entered.
The parents, called “Mr and Mrs A” in court, said Ibrahim kept his back half turned to them for most of the six-minute appointment and took “moments” to examine their daughter.
Ibrahim admitted he failed to test Hannah’s capillary return time during the consultation on January 2 and did not make an adequate detailed assessment.
However, he claimed he had not been told key details about the girl’s deteriorating condition and said he had been unfairly blamed for her death.
He said: “My understanding right from the beginning was Mrs A and Mr A felt it is because of me that these things all happened, but that isn't actually the case.”
Ms McCormack said the girl’s parents had been “clear, consistent and reliable” in their evidence, whereas the doctor was “inconsistent in several material respects”.
But she said the doctor had addressed the problems that led to his failures after undergoing re-training.
Ibrahim, who qualified in Pakistan in 1988, can now continue practicing without restrictions as a result of the decision.