A DOCTOR has apologised for wrongly prescribing a drug which led to the death of a pensioner.
GP Dr Manohar Singh repeatedly apologised before a General Medical Council (GMC) tribunal yesterday for prescribing a drug which was partly to blame for the death of his patient, Doreen Froste.
Mrs Froste, 72, of Birkby, died on March 13, 2004, after being prescribed five-a-week daily doses of Methotrexate to alleviate her chronic arthritis.
Medical experts recommend Methotrexate only be prescribed in weekly doses because of its toxicity.
Dr Singh, who runs Birkby Health Centre on Norwood Road, appears before a three-member GMC panel in Manchester which will decide on his fitness to practice.
Dr Singh apologised for wrongly prescribing the drug on five occasions between July 2003 and February 2004.
He claimed the surgery’s computer system had crashed and erased Mrs Froste’s prescription before it was re-entered incorrectly by somebody else.
Dr Singh told the panel: “Either the computer crashed and the entry was done by someone else but since I’m in charge I’m responsible for signing it.”
Defending counsel David Morris asked: “Did you notice the prescribing error?”
Dr Singh: “No. I’m sorry. I’m extremely sorry.”
The GP denied failing to co-operate with officers of the West Yorkshire Coroner.
Dr Singh refuted claims he had tried to withhold the records when the coroner’s officers visited his surgery five days after Mrs Froste’s death.
He denied hanging up on an officer when she phoned the day before to obtain information on the deceased.
Prosecuting counsel Jason MacAdam suggested: “You didn’t want to release the information at all?”
Dr Singh replied: “No. I didn’t have it because I was at home.’’
Mr MacAdam: “You were refusing to co-operate?’’
Dr Singh said: “No. She wanted the notes. I gave her the notes.’’
Mr MacAdam: “And when she went to your office you didn’t want to co-operate.”
Dr Singh: “I did co-operate. The only thing I wanted was a receipt.”
If Dr Singh is found guilty of misconduct he could be ordered to retrain or may be suspended or struck off the medical register.
The hearing continues.