Lilley quizzes GMC over doctor case
HARPENDEN MP Peter Lilley has met representatives of the General Medical Council (GMC) to discuss its handling of the investigation into disgraced gynaecologist Lennox Kane.
Dr Kane retired from his post as consultant gynaecologist at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust in July 2002 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a debilitating condition that causes uncontrollable shaking and tremors.
Former patients of the gynaecologist, who have since formed the action group Wami Women Against Medical Injustice have bitterly criticised the GMC's handling of its investigation into Dr Kane, which ignored scores of complaints from women treated before 1997.
Although acknowledging that the doctor's performance was "seriously deficient" the GMC did not force him to undergo any kind of skills assessment despite receiving more than 100 separate complaints about his surgical technique and bedside manner.
The GMC also refrained from removing Dr Kane's medical registration and has allowed him to begin teaching at another hospital.
Mr Lilley pressed for the meeting with the GMC's head of screening Neil Marshall so that Wami could properly air its concerns.
Admitting that the confrontation had proved "hard going", Mr Lilley said he has requested a copy of the GMC's rules in a bid to understand their handling of the case.
He said: "They [the GMC] said that they followed the procedures correctly.
"They agreed the outcome was unsatisfactory but said the rules are due to be changed in 2004."
The GMC changed the way it investigated complaints against doctors in 1997 and Mr Lilley added: "Even a willingness to change things seems a two-edged sword."
Mrs Stella Insley, a former patient of Dr Kane and a founder of the action group, accompanied Mr Lilley and praised his continuing efforts to secure a satisfactory conclusion for the Wami women.
"I have nothing to gain from this at all and I could just walk away.
"But so many women have been hurt that I can't just forget it," she said.
Mrs Insley, of Stanton Close, , was awarded £50,000 from Dr Kane in an out-of-court settlement in October last year, after enduring numerous operations to correct the string of blunders she endured as his private patient in 1997.
But with further surgery planned for later this month, Mrs Insley said no amount of money could give her her life back.
Instead she is determined to see the consultant struck off the medical register and ensure that hospitals employ more rigorous checks on under-performing staff.
She said: "The GMC has said that Kane was negligent, he was rude and he didn't give me the care he should have.
"What on earth can that man teach anyone?
"I will not accept that he can remain on the medical register."
The cases of two Wami women are still being investigated by the GMC, which may still opt to remove Dr Kane from the medical register if new evidence comes to light.
Both women have already won undisclosed amounts through private litigation.
10:11am Thursday 17th April 2003