Doctor failed 'to respond to requests'

The complaints to the Medical Council were made by K Doc and cover the years 2005-2010.

The complaints to the Medical Council were made by K Doc and cover the years 2005-2010.


Allegations that a Kildare doctor failed to respond to requests for help in a timely manner, and treated patients and colleagues in an aggressive, confrontational or unprofessional manner, has opened before the Medical Council’s fitness to practice committee.

Dr Aoife Kavanagh of Naas, Co Kildare is facing a range of accusations relating to her work for an out-of-hours medical service K Doc, which the hearing heard covers Kildare and parts of west Wicklow.

At the opening of the hearing this morning, the inquiry was told a female worker in Oghill nursing home in Monasterevin had become upset with Dr Kavanagh’s response to a call for help with a case in which a patient died.

Patrick Leonard BL told the inquiry the nursing home worker had called K Doc in the early hours of the morning in May 2005 and sought assistance for the elderly man whose breathing had become difficult. She had spoken to Dr Kavanagh on the phone but felt the need to call again about a half an hour later, when the patient’s blood pressure had dropped.

Mr Leonard it would be the worker’s evidence that Dr Kavanagh had warned that if she came out to the nursing home and discovered the patient’s condition to be normal, she would report the situation. Dr Kavanagh did attend the patient who died at about 2.30am. Mr Leonard said the worker had become “distressed and upset” with Dr Kavanagh and believed she was owed an apology.

The complaints to the Medical Council were made by K Doc and cover the years 2005-2010.

The complaints also allege that in October 2005 Dr Kavanagh was publicly "aggressive and unprofessional" with a member of staff in Newbridge Treatment Centre, in relation to a decision by the staff member to make appointments for two patients, as opposed to referring them for treatment to a facility in Celbridge.

It is also alleged that Dr Kavanagh failed to respond in a timely manner to a letter dated October 16 2005, from K doc management in relation to the incident at Newbridge Treatment Centre.

Dr Kavanagh was also accused of taking a “confrontational and unprofessional” manner with the mother of a patient in December 2009 and failing to respond to a letter in a timely manner from the medical director of K doc, dated January 7, 2010.

However, the hearing heard from Charles Meenan SC for Dr Kavanagh who said the medical council’s own expert witness had reviewed a number of allegations and found that while the issues about responding to letters may have been tardy, they did not amount to professional misconduct.

The committee agreed to strike out three allegations of professional misconduct.

Evidence was also given that Dr Kavanagh had moved her address in the period in question and some letters appeared to have been sent to an address at which she was lot residing.

The hearing is continuing and is expected to last for about five days.