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Family unaware of hearing into doc's mistake that killed Doreen

By Lesley-Anne Henry

The family of an Ulster woman who was given an overdose by a doctor and died an hour later said last night they were "disgusted" at not being invited to attend a General Medical Council hearing for the doctor involved.

John McNeill's sister, Doreen Gordon (27), died after being given an overdose of a sedative in 1985.

The mother-of-one was being treated for kidney failure in the Waveney Hospital in Ballymena.

The doctor responsible for the mistake, Dr Rosalind Deering, an inexperienced junior doctor at the time, falsified records and kept the overdose secret for more than 15 years.

But Dr Deering, a devout Christian, could not live with her deception and wrote a letter confessing her cover-up to Mrs Gordon's family solicitor in 2001.

Police then launched an investigation into Mrs Gordon's death. But the Public Prosecution Service decided not to bring charges in January 2006 due to 'insufficient evidence'.

Last night Mrs Gordon's brother, John McNeill, spoke out.

He said no-one told the family of the General Medical Council hearing.

Mr McNeill told the BBC: "None of the family knew, nobody was made aware that this case had come to light again.

"I felt sick to the stomach. Everybody else - the media - everybody knew what was going on except for the family."

Dr Deering was not struck off, but the GMC put a five-year warning on her record. She now works as a GP in Stockport, England.

The council said that what she had done had been a serious breach and undermined public confidence.

The council said the truth had only come to light because of Dr Deering's desire to do the right thing.

Belfast Telegraph


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