Fatal brain injury: doctor faces probe

CUSTODY DEATH: Keith Mark Camm died of a brain condition after being held by police who thought he was drunk. y1keithcamm841.JPG
CUSTODY DEATH: Keith Mark Camm died of a brain condition after being held by police who thought he was drunk. y1keithcamm841.JPG
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A DOCTOR involved in the care of a man who was suffering a fatal brain injury when admitted to Pindefields Hospital in 2004 could be investigated over his conduct.

The doctor, named only as “Dr Z”, is set to be referred to the General Medical Council (GMC) following a report which criticises the hospital over its neglect of Mark Camm.

Mr Camm, 43, had been arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly but was in fact suffering a brain haemorrhage. He was held at Wood Street police station for 24 hours before being sent to hospital.

In 2008, a seven-week inquest heard that Mr Camm, of Sunny Bank Street, Ossett, should have been urgently assessed for a brain injury at Pindefields, but was left in a cubicle for nine hours.

He died 11 days later. Both the police and Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust have since apologised.

Following an inquiry by Sir Jonathan Asbridge, a report will sent to the GMC’s Fitness to Practise department regarding the conduct of Dr Z, yesterday’s meeting of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust Board was told.

In a written statement, Mr Camm’s sisters, Michelle Chadwick and Mel Carlton, said the report showed “attempts were made to brush it under the carpet”.

Mrs Chadwick told the meeting: “I hope that the board felt as shocked as we did to read this report. There are people in this room who knew about Mark’s care and treatment two years before his family knew anything about it.

“We are very pleased that following the report, the doctor has been referred back to the GMC. We feel that Mark lost consciousness believing that nobody cared and that is the most difficult thing we have had to cope with.”

At the 2008 inquest, Dr Arief Ahmed, who was working at Pinderfields A&E at the time, said it did not occur to him to order a scan and that he was shocked to hear Mr Camm had suffered a brain haemorrhage the following day. He admitted not doing the scan was a “missed opportunity”.

A raft of improvements have been made to A&E procedures following the report.

Trust chief executive Julia Squire apologised again for failings in Mr Camm’s care. She said: “I would also like to personally thank Mr Camm’s family. Their efforts have helped to ensure that emergency services at Mid Yorkshire are very different today from what they were seven years ago.”