Fitness to practise inquiry into doctor halted

Dr Aoife Kavanagh agrees to submit to a performance assessment scheme

The complaints, which numbered 26 at one stage of the inquiry, were made to the Medical Council by K Doc and covered the years 2005-2010.

The complaints, which numbered 26 at one stage of the inquiry, were made to the Medical Council by K Doc and covered the years 2005-2010.

Thu, Apr 18, 2013, 23:26


A Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry into a GP was halted yesterday after the doctor agreed to submit to a performance assessment scheme.

It was alleged that the GP failed to respond to requests for help in a timely manner, and treated patients and colleagues in an aggressive, confrontational or unprofessional manner.

Dr Aoife Kavanagh, Naas, Co Kildare, faced a range of accusations relating to her work for an out-of-hours medical service K Doc, which covers Kildare and parts of west Wicklow. The complaints, which numbered 26 at one stage of the inquiry, were made to the Medical Council by K Doc and covered the years 2005-2010.

At yesterday’s hearing, chairman of the inquiry John McAdoo said it had considered the request of Dr Kavanagh under section 67 of the Medical Practitioners’ Act that she would undertake to be referred to a performance assessment scheme. Subject to a minor change, the committee accepted the undertaking, he said.

The scheme involves assessment of professional competence to ensure the practitioner is meeting the standards expected of a doctor.

Patrick Leonard for the Medical Council said there had been a great deal of work done assembling factual evidence underpinning the allegations, but conceded there would be a serious factual dispute between the chief executive’s witnesses and the witnesses produced in Dr Kavanagh’s defence.


Further dispute
Even if the factual evidence was accepted, there would also be a further dispute over the expert evidence. The chief executive believed the case was an appropriate one for a performance assessment, Mr Leonard said. The “public interest and safety was best provided for” by referring Dr Kavanagh to the scheme. Charles Meenan SC said his client was happy to give the undertaking.

At a previous hearing, the inquiry was told in 2005 Dr Kavanagh was publicly “aggressive and unprofessional” with a member of staff in Newbridge Treatment Centre. It was also alleged that Dr Kavanagh failed to respond in a timely manner to a letter from K Doc management in relation to the incident.