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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 11:29 GMT
Probe into GP service over death
Penny Campbell
Ms Campbell consulted eight Camidoc GPs
An out-of-hours doctors service failed to inform NHS bosses about the events surrounding the death of a patient.

Penny Campbell, 41, of Islington, north London, suffered multiple organ failure and died in March 2005 despite speaking to eight Camidoc GPs.

Islington Primary Care Trust (PCT) began an inquiry when it emerged the circumstances surrounding the death and subsequent inquest were not disclosed.

Camidoc said an independent review would assess all concerns raised.

Taken off duty

Ms Campbell, a journalist, was Time magazine's associate editor.

In the four days leading up to her death she had six telephone consultations, and two face-to-face meetings with doctors working for the north London service.

Last month a coroner ruled the doctors she saw contributed to her death, by failing to recognise the seriousness of her illness.

They have since been taken off duty pending a review.

Islington PCT said it was only alerted to the situation by a letter from Ms Campbell's partner's solicitor in September 2005.

It is hard not to conclude that there was a cover-up in the hope that Penny's case would simply be forgotten about
Angus MacKinnon

PCT policy rules state that a serious untoward incident, such as one resulting in unexpected death or one that potentially contributes to a pattern of reduced standard of care, must be reported to the PCT immediately.

Mr MacKinnon, 40, said he was appalled the information was not passed to the relevant bodies.

"It is hard not to conclude that there was a cover-up in the hope that Penny's case would simply be forgotten about," he said.

But a Camidoc spokesman said an independent review had already begun looking at the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms Campbell.

Islington PCT is one of four that uses Camidoc, including Camden, Haringey and City and Hackney.

Islington PCT said the four PCTs were "working closely with Camidoc to conduct a thorough investigation of all of the events surrounding Penny Campbell's death, as a matter of urgency."

Inquest into journalist's death
04 Oct 06 |  London

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