Ashford woman calls for tougher discipline of doctors

stethoscope (generic) Dr Jackson has 75 complaints against him dating back to 1989

A woman whose mother died from bowel cancer after undergoing the wrong operation at a Kent hospital is calling for tougher disciplining of doctors.

Kate Keane's mother, Jillian Phillips, died two years after David Jackson operated on her at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, in 2004.

Dr Jackson was suspended from the medical register in 2007 but has never appeared before a disciplinary hearing.

In 2011, a coroner ruled Mrs Phillips died after "a string of failures".

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust said it dismissed Dr Jackson in 2007.

He has 75 complaints against him, dating back to 1989.

Mrs Phillips, 68, left a husband, Jim, and eight children.

Start Quote

In this case there have been significant delays which are frustrating for patients and everyone involved”

End Quote General Medical Council

At her inquest, the coroner said the failures of the hospital amounted to negligence.

Ms Keane, from Ashford, said it was a "disgrace" Dr Jackson had still not been held to account.

"It's still very difficult for us as a family," she said.

"Our father calls it a life sentence. It's going to be very, very difficult for him to trust the medical profession again.

"The coroner's verdict has gone some way to allowing us to feel as if rights can be wronged within the NHS but it also leads us to think that the system for regulating the medical profession is not good enough at the moment.

"It seems as if somebody, whatever they have, if that is reported through to the correct bodies then action must be taken very, very quickly indeed."

'Truly sorry'

In a statement, the GMC said: "Our focus is on protecting patients, that is why we have suspended Dr David Jackson from the medical register, as a result he cannot work as a doctor in the UK.

"In this case, there have been significant delays which are frustrating for patients and everyone involved."

The NHS trust said it was "truly sorry" about the errors in Mrs Phillips's care and that it reached a settlement with the family in 2008.

In addition, the trust had reviewed its cancer services and radically changed the way they were provided.

Dr Jackson has not responded to requests for an interview by BBC South East.

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