Doctor involved in 'preventable' death of Dronfield nursery pupil Gracie Foster could be struck off at tribunal
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On October 21, 2015, four-year-old Gracie Foster, from Old Whittington, Chesterfield went to Chesterfield Royal Hospital to have her tonsils removed but her surgery was cancelled after she fell sick on the ward.
Gracie, who attended Lenthall Nursery and Infant School in Dronfield, was sent home by consultant paediatrician Dr Baljinder Ubhi who believed she had a viral infection and she died hours later after being rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Dr Ubhi, who has been registered as a doctor since 1993, is known as Tim to his colleagues – which was the name he used during Gracie’s inquest.
The inquest, at Chesterfield Coroners’ Court in September 2018, found that there were ‘gross failures’ by healthcare professionals representing ‘neglect’ which contributed to her death by natural causes.
A post-mortem report had found Gracie died from Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome – a failure in the adrenal gland – meningococcaemia and neisseria meningitidis infection, a form of life-threatening sepsis.
At the time Dr Ubhi had said he wished he had ‘done more’.
He said had he known about Gracie’s medical history and run blood tests and had he found ‘significant signs of sepsis’ or meningococcal infection he ‘would have acted’.
Dr Ubhi is now set to appear at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing starting on Monday, March 9 and set to finish two weeks later on Friday, March 20.
The alleged misconduct he will be questioned over is as follows: “The tribunal will inquire into the allegation that on 21 October 2015 Dr Ubhi consulted with Patient A (Gracie) and he failed to obtain an adequate medical history and arrange for the following investigations to be carried out: a full blood count; blood culture; C-Reactive Protein level and urine analysis and culture.
“It is also alleged that Dr Ubhi failed to request that a period of observation be undertaken in respect of Patient A and he failed to maintain adequate clinical notes.”
The tribunal hearing will decide on whether Dr Ubhi continues to be fit to practice medicine or whether this is impaired.
He could have his medical licence suspended for a fixed term or erased entirely, he could also have conditions attached to his licence to limit his ability to practice, or he could be cleared of any impairment.
A statement released at the time of Gracie’s inquest, two years ago, on behalf of her mother, Michelle Foster, said: “Nothing will bring Gracie back – her early, tragic and avoidable death is something from which her family will never recover. Gracie walked into hospital on the day of her death a happy, chatty and joyous little girl.
“Gracie’s family never imagined that the very same day they would see their little girl covered in tubes, being resuscitated – witnessing Gracie’s death in such traumatic circumstances is something they have to relive daily.
“The family hopes that what happened to Gracie will raise awareness and understanding of the devastating illness of meningococcal septicaemia, so that her death serves to lessen the chances of her tragic story being repeated.”