Doctor tells inquiry of hospital system 'failures'

 

A CONSULTANT whose patient did not get the results of a cancerous skin biopsy for 15 months told a Medical Council fitness-to-practise committee yesterday he found it “very distressing personally” that the system at St Columcille’s Hospital in Dublin did not give him the information he needed to diagnose his patient.

Consultant surgeon Mashood Ahmed, who worked at St Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown and at the Beacon Hospital in Sandyford, is facing two allegations of poor professional performance. He allegedly failed to ensure the results of his patient’s biopsy were pursued and failed to ensure there was a follow-up appointment made for his patient.

Mr S, a 58-year-old man from Knocklyon, Co Dublin, had a biopsy on a mole on his chest in August 2008 at St Columcille’s. He did not learn until November 2009 he had malignant melanoma and he died the following month.

Yesterday, the third day of the inquiry, Mr Ahmed said the system he used to track patients had “stood the test of time”, but in Mr S’s case there had been “a combination of systems failures”. He accepted “overall the responsibility is with the consultant in charge”. He said he was “really sorry” for the man’s family.

“I found it very distressing personally the system I was working in did not give me the information I needed to diagnose him,” he said.

Mr Ahmed also said Dr Faisal Nazir, who removed the mole, left very clear instructions that Mr S was to be reviewed in the surgical outpatients’ department.

“I found it extraordinary that in this case the nurse completely overruled the clear medical instructions here,” he said.

The fitness-to-practise committee said they would retire and give a decision at a later date.