Baby P doctor tells of 'deep shock'

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The Independent Online

The doctor accused of failing to spot Baby P's broken back and ribs two days before he died has spoken in public for the first time and told of her devastation at his death.

Dr Sabah Al Zayyat, 52, is so far the only person to have lost her job due to failings in the case of the 17-month-old boy who was battered to death by his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

She was the last medical or welfare professional to see Baby P alive when she examined him on 1 August 2007. But she failed to spot the child's significant injuries and said she could not examine him as he was too miserable.

Last night, she told of her "deep shock" at his death. "Like everyone involved in this case I have been deeply affected by the shocking and tragic circumstances of this young child's death," she said, in a statement.

"My professional career has been devoted to the care of children. I will co-operate with any investigation to identify whether lessons can be learnt from this case, but I feel it would be inappropriate to provide any further comment to the press at this time."

The doctor's comments were released as she left her home in Ilford to collect her husband from the airport. While she refused to say anything more, her husband, Nasim Osmani Subhi, a consultant obstetrician working in Ireland, added: "It is too upsetting for us to talk right now. It is a difficult time. We would like to be left alone."

She was subsequently suspended from her job at St Ann's hospital, in north London, a decision she is understood to be contesting, and now faces a General Medical Council investigation. She is still free to work in the NHS but is not thought to be practising at the moment.

Dr Al Zayyat's comments came the day after it emerged that three separate doctors warned that Baby P appeared to have been the victim of abuse, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute.

A GP, Jerome Kaine Ikwueke, also sent the child to the Whittington hospital with a note warning that the child should be put on "full alert".

His mother, 27, her boyfriend, 32, and their 36-year-old lodger, Jason Owen, were convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child last week. They will be sentenced next month and face up to 14 years in prison.