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GP told to pay widow over death wins case

A Northern Ireland GP has won his legal challenge to a finding that he should pay £10,000 to a deceased patient's widow.

Judges in the Court of Appeal quashed a complaints commissioner's decision to recommend the consolatory payment for alleged maladministration.

By a two-one majority verdict they held that there was no legal authority for the cash proposal.

The doctor, who runs a sole practice and cannot be identified, issued proceedings over findings made against him following the death of his patient in 2009.

Before he died the man had been complaining of chest pains and seeking access to a specialist clinic. His doctor did refer him to a rapid access chest pain clinic but an appointment was refused because he had recently had an ECG.

The GP's practice filed the clinic's reply letter but took no action.

His widow complained to the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints, who ordered the £10,000 consolatory payment.

Belfast Telegraph