THE FAMILY of a pensioner who died following inappropriate prescriptions from her GP are demanding a medical inquiry.
Relatives of Mrs Doreen Froste, 72, of Birkby, want the General Medical Council to investigate her death.
Their call came after an inquest ruled that Mrs Froste, of Birkby Lodge Road, who died at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on March 13, 2004, had been prescribed excessive levels of a powerful drug.
Coroner Paul Marks yesterday ruled Mrs Froste’s death had been partially caused by poisoning from Methotrexate, a drug prescribed for her severe rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic disabling disease causing inflammation and destruction of bones and cartilage around the joints.
Methotrexate had been repeatedly prescribed by Mrs Froste’s GP, Dr Manohar Singh, of Birkby Health Centre, Norwood Road, for daily use.
But at Huddersfield Coroners’ Court, Mr Marks ruled this had been a “concatenation of errors” and a “serious breakdown of the safeguard for correct prescribing” of Methotrexate in general practice.
The drug was potentially dangerous and should not be taken daily.
On Wednesday, Birkby pharmacist Mohammed Bashir Karim told the inquest he had “corrected” Dr Singh’s prescriptions several times and notified Birkby Health Centre of the error.
The court heard Mrs Froste, a retired auxiliary nurse, could have taken up to 30mg of Methotrexate a week – compared with the maximum safe dose of 25mg.
Mrs Froste, who had suffered breast cancer and severe asthma, may have also taken two prescriptions of the drug simultaneously.
Two packets of tablets, prescribed within 10 days of each other by her GP and the hospital, were found in Mrs Froste’s hospital locker.
Recording a narrative verdict Mr Marks said: “Although general frailty and rheumatoid arthritis are likely to be co-factors, it is clear that Methotrexate toxicity was a significant contributory factor in the illness that led to her death.”
Now Mrs Froste’s son Andrew is demanding an investigation of Dr Singh by the General Medical Council.
Mr Froste, of Holly Bank Road, Lindley, said: “It was the verdict we had hoped for.
“We hoped there would be some recognition of what we feel Dr Singh did wrong. Until he says something, I don’t know if we will really feel any closure. If he just said he had made a mistake I would be happy. I fully expect the GMC to make an investigation.
“I’m very surprised there was no-one from the Primary Care Trust at the inquest, because I registered a complaint with them.”