Calls for doctor to be struck off over baby death

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The parents of a nine-month-old girl who died after being misdiagnosed handed in a petition today of nearly 8,000 signatures demanding the doctor who treated their daughter be struck off.

Aleesha Evans died after Dr Salawati Abdul Salam failed to diagnose the baby was suffering from blood poisoning.

Instead, the doctor said Aleesha had a viral infection and discharged the baby, from Newport, South Wales.

Less than 24 hours later, Aleesha died at Cardiff's University Hospital from multiple organ failure, triggered by blood poisoning from a meningococcal infection.

Following the baby's death in August 2006, the General Medical Council launched an investigation and in March this year found Dr Abdul Salam's care of Aleesha "demonstrated a complete lack of attention to detail and a serious degree of carelessness".

But despite the damning criticism, the doctor was suspended from practising for only four months, a decision which angered Aleesha's parents, Craig Evans and Shiree Hanbury.

Today, Mr Evans and Miss Hanbury were joined by 47 supporters outside the GMC's offices in London.

Wearing yellow T-shirts claiming "Justice 4 Aleesha", they chanted "Dr Salawati out".

They then handed Ben Jones, assistant director of strategy and planning at the GMC, a petition of nearly 8,000 signatures from their supporters in Newport demanding the doctor be permanently struck off.

In a statement read outside the GMC, the unemployed couple, both 24, said: "It has been nearly four years since the tragic death of our beautiful, irreplaceable and only daughter Aleesha Evans.

"We have spent each and every day tormented by the coroner's verdict that Aleesha's death was a completely preventable one.

"We need closure and we need justice so we can sleep peacefully and try and find a way out of this dark existence."

Today's protest was organised by mother-of-three Stacie Routley, a friend of Aleesha's parents.

Miss Routley, 25, said: "This wasn't just a case of misjudgment, this was a doctor who failed to comply with hospital protocol.

"The GMC are there to protect patients, not doctors, and we feel that a four-month suspension is an insult to Aleesha's memory."

A spokeswoman for the GMC said a review hearing of Dr Abdul Salam's case was scheduled for July 15 and 16 in Manchester.