Doctor involved in ‘failings’ of care of Northampton toddler declared fit to practise

Harry Connolly NNL-140508-154849001
Harry Connolly NNL-140508-154849001

A medical tribunal has ruled that a doctor is ‘fit to practise’ despite finding that she was responsible for a series of failings in the care of a Northampton toddler who died of dehydration.

Nineteen-month-old Harry Connolly died at home in Parkfield Avenue, Delapre, Northampton, on May 1, 2011, after twice being sent home from Northampton General Hospital and an out-of-hours service.

Raymond and Lucy Connolly, the parents of Harry Connolly, who died in May last year. ENGNNL00120121104185945

Raymond and Lucy Connolly, the parents of Harry Connolly, who died in May last year. ENGNNL00120121104185945

After an inquest held in 2012, county coroner Anne Pember catalogued a series of “failures” made by the doctors and nurses who treated Harry.

One of the doctors who treated Harry at the hospital was Dr Tasnim Arif, who told his parents Ray and Lucy that she did not believe he was dehydrated.

Dr Arif failed to weigh Harry or carry out a blood test and discharged him from the ward three days before he died.

Harry was taken to an out of hours clinic the next day but was sent home after being examined by Dr Aboo Thamby, who was subsequently given a formal warning for his failure to examine the toddler properly.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel has heard evidence about Dr Arif’s standard of care in Harry’s case and ruled that there were “specific breaches” from general medical practice.

However, the panel has concluded that it was an “isolated” incident in an otherwise “unblemished career”.

The ruling states: “As noted in its previous determination, the panel considers that you (Dr Arif) have demonstrated genuine insight into the level of failings.

“It also determined that the incident was isolated in an otherwise unblemished career, there has been no repetition and there have been no indicators to suggest your failings would be repeated.

“It has taken account of the corrective steps you have taken along with the testimonial evidence which attests to you being a competent doctor.

“Having regard to all the circumstances in your case, the panel considers that despite there being specific breaches of good medical practice in relation to your care and treatment of Harry Connolly on 28 April 2011, these are not so serious as to amount to significant departures from good medical practice.”

Dr Arif has not been given an official warning as the panel considered it would be “unnecessary and disproportionate”.

Harry’s mother Lucy said she felt disgusted with the ruling and felt like the process had been a “waste of time”.

She said: “As far as I am concerned the whole process was a complete waste of time.

“I am beyond disgusted, it feels like doctors protecting doctors. There are no words.”

Dr Arif no longer works at Northampton General Hospital.