Doctor cleared over self-harm girl

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A doctor has been cleared of any misconduct in his treatment of a teenage girl who committed self harm one week after being discharged from his clinic.







Dr Tony Livesey - a national authority on deliberate self harm - was found by a disciplinary panel not to have undermined the mental stability of the 14-year-old when he removed her from the specialist health unit in Sheffield.



A General Medical Council fitness to practise panel also ruled that allegations that the discharge was at short notice and was inconsistent with her agreed care plan were not proved.



The consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist was said by the girl's father to have been "flippant, unprofessional and rude" during various meetings with him at Oakwood Young People's Centre in May and June 2009.



Panel chairman Dr Roger Ferguson said that although they accepted the evidence of staff, this was not the case.



He said: "The panel accepts Mr S (the girl's father) had high levels of anxiety regarding his daughter's wellbeing.



"He may have believed that he was acting in her best interests in questioning aspects of her in-patient care. However, as the admission proceeded, his anxieties were expressed in a dysfunctional way and this undermined the therapeutic relationship with the staff at Oakwood."



The girl took up to five paracetamol tablets a week after being discharged from the unit after Dr Livesey told her parents their relationship with him had broken down and a lack of trust was irretrievable.



In the panel's judgment, Dr Ferguson said it was no longer suggested there was a direct link between the self-harming episode and the discharge of the girl, known as Patient A.



He said: "There is evidence that Patient A's situation was evolving rapidly and that there was a risk of her mental health deteriorating if she remained at Oakwood due to the total relationship breakdown between the team and her family and the dissatisfaction with her care at that point."



The panel, sitting in Manchester, concluded that Dr Livesey's fitness to practise was not impaired.



A charge that the discharge was not clinically indicated was withdrawn.

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