GMC apologises to GP
By Helen Crump
It is two years next month since Dr Paul Davis was arrested on suspicion of murdering a chronically ill, 85-year-old patient by administering an overdose of diamorphine.
Police dropped the case nine weeks later.
But only now does it appear that the GMC is finally to end its investigation and formally clear him.
Yet Dr Davis says he is still not 100 per cent sure whether his nightmare is about to end because of a failure by the GMC to tell him what's going on with his case.
A fitness-to-practise hearing was scheduled for last month, but although his solicitor told him it was unlikely to take place he only found out for certain it had been cancelled after calling up himself.
This was after he had committed to £2,250 of locum costs to cover the time.
Days after Pulse questioned the GMC about the case, Dr Davis received a letter from the regulator apologising for the delay in contacting him to tell him his case was to be referred for a decision on cancellation.
Dr Davis said that he was 'amazed, shocked and annoyed' that he had been kept in limbo for so long over a matter that could mean the end of his 21-year career.
He said: 'I still don't know whether they are going to cancel the whole thing or if they've just postponed it.
'It never leaves your mind. You're always thinking perhaps tomorrow it will come in the post, perhaps the next day.'
Dr Davis believes his damaged reputation is the reason his list has risen by only 100
patients in three years.
The dispensing GP, based in Castle Hedingham, Essex, estimates that he has lost £150,000 in the same period, partly as a result of the case.
'They scrutinised my practice and didn't find anything wrong,' he said. 'It could happen to any doctor. I had to prove myself to be innocent. It should be the other way round.'
A GMC spokesperson apologised for the breakdown in communication. She said Dr Davis' solicitors had been told by telephone in June that the August date would not go ahead.
She added: 'With hindsight it would have been better to have confirmed the position in writing, but we are not aware of any previous occasion in which such a message has not been passed on to the doctor.'