Father of Hitchin man who died after GP visit speaks out following doctor’s formal warning
- Credit: Archant
The father of a man who died after being sent away by his doctor without examination has spoken out for the first time since the GP was given a formal warning by the General Medical Council.
Gary Jones, of Whitehill Road in Hitchin, died alone at home after being sent away from Regal Chambers Surgery on Bancroft in the town without any form of examination by his doctor – David Barratt.
Mr Jones complained about weeks of malaise, lethargy and increased urinary frequency. He died the same day – July 29, 2013. He was 44.
The GMC launched an investigation into his death and found Dr Barratt did not record an adequate history, conduct an examination, arrange a urine sample analysis or finger prick test, or record that the patient refused the latter.
Dr Barratt arranged blood tests for 10 days later, but did not warn the patient of danger signs to watch out for, such as headaches, drowsiness, vomiting or diarrhoea.
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The GMC report said: “This conduct does not meet with the standards required of a doctor.
“It risks bringing the profession into disrepute and it must not be repeated. While this failing in itself is not so serious as to require any restriction on Dr Barratt’s registration, it is necessary to issue a formal warning.”
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The GMC’s ruling was made in October, but the family of Mr Jones have only just be given the full report which could not be shown to the Comet after they signed a non-disclosure agreement to secure it.
Mr Jones’s father, Glyn, said: “The doctor’s behaviour wasn’t acceptable. He didn’t keep any records or anything. Gary was really let down.
“The GP should have done something. How could he do nothing?
“It’s ruined our lives. It was a terrible shock for us. We feel especially awful about it because he was on his own. Gary lived with us, but we had gone to Greece for a week’s holiday. If there had only been someone there to see the state he was in and call for help.
“He had phoned his office and said he was vomiting, felt terrible and was going to bed.
“They tried phoning after that and couldn’t get hold of him.He had gone to bed, laid down and died.
“The coroner recorded his death as sudden adult death syndrome.”
Mr Jones described his son, who had worked for the London Overground for 20 years, as “a quiet chap and a keen match angler”.
Dr Barratt’s warning will be published on the List of Registered Medical Practitioners for five years.
After that period, the warning will no taken off the register but will be kept on record and disclosed to employers on request.
A statement from the surgery said: “We would like to convey our deepest sympathies to the family. This has been fully investigated by the GMC and Dr Barratt was warned regarding note-keeping, but not care.
“We cannot comment further due to patient confidentiality, but we fully support Dr Barratt as a valued GP within the community.”