'Suicidal' Baby P doctor applying for removal from medical register

'Suicidal' Baby P doctor applying for removal from medical register

A doctor accused of failing to spot Tottenham youngster Baby P's abuse days before his death is seeking to have her name removed from the medical register, a disciplinary panel has heard.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat was originally due to face misconduct allegations in February relating to her treatment of the little boy.

But the hearing was adjourned after a General Medical Council (GMC) fitness to practise panel heard she was "suicidal", unfit to defend herself and had left the country.

The doctor, who did not attend Monday's hearing in central London, is now renewing a bid to apply for "voluntary erasure" to remove her name from the medical register.

Mary O'Rourke, for Dr Al-Zayyat, said the application would be based on "medical grounds" because the doctor is "unfit to stand trial and defend herself".

The panel was told the doctor is out of the country and in contact with her defence via telephone.

Dr Al-Zayyat saw Baby P - now named as Peter Connelly - at a child development clinic at St Ann's Hospital in Tottenham, north London, on August 1, 2007.

She missed his injuries after deciding she could not carry out a full check-up because he was "miserable and cranky".

Two days later, 17-month-old Peter died in a blood-spattered cot in Tottenham at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger. They were all jailed in May last year.

A post-mortem examination found he had probably suffered serious injuries, including a broken back and fractured ribs, before he was examined by Dr Al-Zayyat, their trial at the Old Bailey heard.

Dr Al-Zayyat, who qualified in Pakistan and worked in Saudi Arabia before coming to Britain in 2004, was suspended from practice by the GMC in November 2008.

The doctor is accused of knowing Peter was on the child protection register but failing to carry out an adequate examination, failing to investigate the explanation offered for his injuries and failing to record whether she considered the possibility that he was the victim of child abuse.

Miss O'Rourke said: "None of the facts alleged are admitted because I am effectively without instruction from Dr Al-Zayyat."

It is alleged Dr Al-Zayyat failed to diagnose Peter had suffered physical abuse, possible neglect and emotional abuse, and did not arrange for him to be admitted to hospital.

She is also alleged to have applied for a job in Ireland without telling her prospective employers there were conditions on her registration as a doctor.

She is facing a new allegation that she claimed in a CV she had worked continuously for four and a half years as a consultant paediatrician in a Dublin hospital when in fact she had held 11 non-continuous locum posts.

Dr Al-Zayyat had her contract with Great Ormond Street Hospital terminated after details of Peter's case came to light.

She has since launched a claim for damages against the world-famous children's hospital over her dismissal. A report by health regulator the Care Quality Commission in May last year criticised staffing levels at St Ann's.

Dr Al-Zayyat had no contact with Peter's social worker before or after the appointment and was given no details about the child's previous hospital admissions, the commission noted.

She was one of only two consultants at the specialist children's clinic at St Ann's, when there should have been four.

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