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Wednesday, September 29, 1999 Published at 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK

UK: Scotland

Complaint not revealed to police

Dr Evans-Appiah was the anaesthetist on duty

A General Medical Council official failed to tell police that the anaesthetist working at the time of the death of 10-year-old dental patient had been reported to them in the past - a Fatal Accident Inquiry has been told.

Detective Constable Colin Brown told the inquiry into Darren Denholm's death that he and another officer visited the GMC's headquarters.

But he said they were not told about a letter - sent from the Borders General Hospital in 1993 - questioning the competence and qualifications of Dr Evans-Appiah who was the anaesthetist on the fatal day.

Det Constable Brown also reported that they had not been told of council proceedings which followed the doctor losing a job at Falkirk Royal Infirmary.

Uncontrollable weeping

On the ninth day of the inquiry at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, another officer, Detective Sergeant William Slaven, told the court that Dr Evans-Appiah had broken down and wept uncontrollably on hearing the boy had died.

DS Slaven said: "He collapsed on the floor, rolling about crying, 'Why me, why me?'

"He was uncontrollable, very upset. I found it difficult getting a statement from him. He was inconsolable.

"He said he felt responsible for the boy's death, because he was in charge of the child. He asked if he could go up to the hospital, where the parents were, to give them his condolences. But I felt it was inappropriate to let him do so."

Medical form

DS Slaven added that he had to grab a form with Darren's medical history on it from Dr Evans-Appiah when he made attempts to fill it in.

The inquiry had previously heard that Dr Evans-Appiah entered fictitious blood pressure and pulse readings on a medical history form after hearing the boy had died.

Pathology professor Anthony Busuttil also told the hearing that Darren had been a healthy boy who seemed to have reacted adversely to anaesthetic agents.

Dr Brian Flavil, the principal of a dental practice in Aberdeen, where Dr Evans-Appiah also worked, said he had found him very competent, but conceded he had never seen him in a crisis.

Dr Flavil expressed concern over the commercialism of Poggo Anaesthetics, the company which supplied the anaesthetist, and its desire to use cheaper drugs which he believed compromised safety.

The inquiry resumes in mid-October when a representative of the GMC will give evidence.

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