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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
GPs 'failed to diagnose' illness
Penny Campbell
Ms Campbell had been treated for piles before her death
Doctors contributed to the death of a journalist who died from multiple organ failure, a coroner has ruled.

Penny Campbell, 41, of Islington, north London, was Time magazine's associate editor when she died in March 2005.

Earlier the inquest at Poplar Coroners' Court heard she consulted eight doctors before her death.

She fell ill after being treated for piles on Wednesday 23 March. She died of septicaemia, caused by complications after an injection for haemorrhoids.

The court heard she was diagnosed with various illnesses, ranging from flu to food poisoning and colic.

Six consultations were carried out over the telephone while two were face-to-face appointments.

The whole thing did not quite fit in right and I said therefore it would be worth investigating the following week
Dr Bengi Beyzade

All eight doctors were working for the Camidoc out-of-hours GP service which covers parts of north London.

Eventually she was advised to go to A&E where she died at the intensive care unit at the Royal London Hospital days later.

Coroner Doctor Andrew Reid said: "My finding is that Penelope Ann Campbell died as a result of an accidental adverse healthcare event to which the non-recognition of the seriousness of her condition contributed."

Aggressive rash

Dr Bengi Beyzade, who saw Ms Campbell before her death, told the inquest in east London that he thought Ms Campbell was "improving".

He had diagnosed Ms Campbell with food poisoning but admitted some of her symptoms were not typical of it.

"The whole thing did not quite fit in right and I said therefore it would be worth investigating the following week," he said.

The inquest heard she had been suffering from an aggressive rash but Dr Beyzade said he had not seen it.

The doctor also said some details from her medical records were missing and he was unaware she had consulted several doctors before him.

Other doctors who spoke at the inquest also said they were in the dark about Ms Campbell's medical history.

Michael Golding, the chief executive of Camidoc, told the inquest that the practice of entering all medical records into a computerised system was "hastened" by her death.

There was a "possibility" that there was no continuity of medical treatment for Ms Campbell, he added.

The Coroner said although crucial medical information on Ms Campbell's case was missing and it "was not always readily available to the last doctor in the chain", there has not been a gross lack of medical attention.

Watch interview with Penny Campbell's partner

Inquest into journalist's death
04 Oct 06 |  London

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