Faye Hawkins case

A consultant paediatrician who received a formal warning from the GMC for missing a case of fatal appendicitis.

Found that she failed to consider possible underlying serious cause for fever, and that lethargy and mildly elevated heart rate are “red flags”. But actually, they are not – common and poorly predictive, and not in NICE Fever in under 5s table. Patient was 5 already, anyway. Did not flag on Sepsis tool.

Also found that she failed to examine again or look for other possible red flags when she discharged Elspeth from hospital; failed to adequately advise parents on how frequently they should monitor her temperature and pain symptoms; and failed to record the advice given in the notes.

British association for general paediatricians complained that the pressure of the acute unit were not taken into account, but GMC response was that tribunal (which is independent from GMC) took this into account, although they could not agree on what standards for a “reasonably competent clinician” could be applied!

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