Willen Village Surgery: GP error led to patient’s death — (Milton Keynes Citizen)

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Milton Keynes Citizen

by Sally Murrer, sally.murrer@jpress.co.uk

 His patient Jean Howard suffered from suicidal depression and was only allowed a few days’ medication at a time.

Dr Okafor, working flat out in the busy surgery, mistakenly signed a prescription for too much of the anti-depressant medication.

Mrs Howard, 67, took a fatal overdose and died, an inquest heard last month.

Coroner Tom Osborne, who returned a verdict of suicide, did not directly criticise the GP but wrote to the Care Quality Commission asking it to investigate staffing levels and working practices of doctors under pressure. Meanwhile Dr Okafor is under investigation by the General Medical Council and has been suspending from working since November.

On Friday Willen Village Surgery was plunged into chaos when the sole remaining GP suddenly resigned after his pleas to the NHS for more assistance had allegedly been ignored for months.

This week, as the 4,000 worried Willen patients were frantically farmed out to other surgeries, more behind-the-scenes problems at the over-stretched surgery came to light.

A year ago African-born Dr Okafor was the subject of a police investigation after concerns he had performed illegal female circumcision at the privately-owned surgery. It is understood he admitted to only performing male circumcisions and police, finding no evidence, dropped the case without charge.

City health chiefs have failed this week to come up with an immediate plan of action to re-open the troubled Willen Village doctors’ surgery. While patients are voting with their feet and swarming to neighbouring GPs, NHS England has given no indication of how it will resolve the problem.

It is understood Dr Agnelo Lobo had warned of his retirement for months and begged for help in running the practice. The surgery suddenly closed after Dr Lobo quit on Friday and the 4,000 patients were reallocated to four other practices in Newport Pagnell, Broughton Gate, Oakridge and Stantonbury.

Parish councillor, Kenneth Bejon, said: “They do not deserve to be pushed around like this without even an explanation. Why can’t our surgery be opened again with locums?”

Up to 700 patients flocked to the Sovereign Medical centre at Pennyland, where doctors ran an emergency registration.

“It was almost like a war zone with people panicking and desperate to get their medication,” said Dr Sam Muthuveloe, who organizes emergency medical clinics in his native Sri Lanka for Hope Outreach charity.

The Citizen asked NHS England what it planned to do about Willen Surgery but it failed to respond by deadline.

The building is owned by the previous GP Ron Carter, who is now retired. It is not known whether negotiations are taking place for the NHS to rent the premises and employ temporary staff.