Restrictions have been lifted on a Birmingham GP forced to work under constant supervision for diagnosing a patient with heartburn, hours before she had her gall bladder removed in an emergency operation.
The General Medical Council (GMC) ruled that Dr Uday Sadashiv Abhyankar, who works at the medical practice in Hamstead Road, Handsworth, had improved so much over the past two years that he could be fully reinstated to work unassisted.
Dr Abhyankar was found guilty of misconduct in 2007 for failing to carry out basic tests on a female patient at his surgery and on two home visits, diagnosing heartburn and telling her to take a “Rennie” tablet.
Hours later the patient was taken to Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich, for emergency surgery for kidney failure. The doctor was warned his actions were unprofessional and had conditions imposed – of constant supervision and undergoing retraining for jobs like making notes after writing only “pain abdo” in the patient’s records.
But the punishment left Dr Abhyankar unable to run both his Handsworth surgery and a second practice in Hamstead Road, Great Barr, causing it to be closed and the 1,400 patients redistributed to other GPs.
The doctor declined to comment on his reinstatement at his Harborne detached home.
In the latest hearing last month, a GMC panel was told Abhyankar had followed all recommendations in his personal development plan including improving on examinations, diagnosing and treating patients, referring them for further investigation and keeping notes.
“The Panel has noted the glowing reports and testimonials, together with all the steps taken to improve performance as a GP,” said a GMC spokesman. “We accept that you have reflected on your practice, leading to qualitative improvements, amongst other things, in home visits, record keeping and the management of patients with gastrointestinal problems.
“It is satisfied you have gained real insight into your previous failings and are extremely unlikely to repeat your errors.”
The original case heard a woman visited Abhyankar’s Great Barr surgery in November 2003 with pains in her chest, but he did not check her blood pressure, pulse or temperature, or obtain a full medical history before diagnosing heartburn and prescribing anti-ulcer pills and recommending the patient take ‘Rennie’ tablets.
The patient suffered violent stomach and back pains months later in February 2004, when the doctor was called for home visits on two consecutive days, only to prescribe more tablets but no examination.
Hours later, the woman was admitted to hospital with severe pancreatitis and renal failure and had a gall bladder removed in an emergency operation.
The conditions placed on the doctor were to work under a supervisor, formulate a development plan with a postgraduate education mentor to work on his deficiencies and to notify the GMC is he accepted any post with a new employer.
He was also ordered to take audits of all his home visits, record keeping and management of patients with stomach problems over 18 months.
A spokesman for Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust, who Dr Abhyankar has a contract with, said: “Two years ago the GMC placed temporary restrictions on Dr Abhyankar, a GP in Handsworth, to allow his continued presence on the medical register.
“At the time, Dr Abhyankar was running two surgeries. As a primary care trust which commissions care from his practice, we agreed with his conclusion that the closure of his branch surgery in Great Barr would greatly assist him.
“We understand that the GMC has now lifted the restrictions on Dr Abhyankar’s practice, and we are pleased that his efforts have satisfied the regulatory body.”