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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 09:16 GMT
Epilepsy doctor allowed to work
Dr Andrew Holton
Dr Holton was suspended from Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2001
A doctor who wrongly diagnosed hundreds of children with epilepsy has been told he can continue to practise medicine.

Over a 10-year period, Dr Andrew Holton misdiagnosed more than 600 children at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The General Medical Council described his performance as "seriously deficient", but ruled he could still practise, subject to conditions.

The families of those given the wrong treatment had wanted him struck off and are considering an appeal.

Adrian Stevenson, chairman of the Leicester Epilepsy Parents Group, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the families may approach watchdog the Council for Regulatory Health Care Excellence.

What do you have to do in this country to get struck off?
Sue Parr, mother of misdiagnosed boy

"If they believe, as we do, that there has been an injustice here, they can apply to the High Court, who can then overturn this decision for the protection of the public."

Mr Stevenson believes Dr Holton made his daughter's possible mild condition worse by prescribing drugs for a severe form of epilepsy.

'Sufficient conditions'

Dr Holton was suspended from his post at Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2001 after an investigation found he had given wrong diagnoses of epilepsy to 618 children between 1990 and 2001.

Sue Parr, whose son Peter, now 19, had five years of treatment from Dr Holton after he was misdiagnosed, said: "I think it's disgusting. He's got away with it.

"What do you have to do in this country to get struck off?"

Dr Holton was later allowed to resume his medical career in a different part of the country.

In a statement on its decision, the General Medical Council's fitness-to-practise panel told him: "Having found that the standard of your professional performance has been seriously deficient, the panel considered whether it is sufficient to direct that your registration should be subject to conditions.

"It decided that conditions are sufficient and necessary for the protection of the public and are proportionate."

The set of conditions imposed on Dr Holton's registration will last for three years, and include ongoing assessments and improvement of his skills in communication with patients.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Reaction from the mother of one misdiagnosed child



SEE ALSO:
Epilepsy doctor ruling put back
03 May 05 |  Leicestershire
Hearing into misdiagnosis doctor
17 Apr 05 |  Leicestershire
Parents group upset at long wait
02 Feb 05 |  Leicestershire
Parents want doctor struck off
10 Nov 03 |  Leicestershire
Trust 'knew doctor misdiagnosed'
20 Oct 03 |  Leicestershire


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