Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield doctor jailed over patient death struck off

A doctor jailed for manslaughter after failing to diagnose correctly a patient who later died has been struck off the medical register.

Bala Kovvali, 64, was sentenced to two and a half years in February for the manslaughter of Andrew Fellows.

Mr Fellows, 42, from Sheffield, died in 2009 from a diabetic condition. Kovvali had diagnosed depression.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel ruled the public must be protected from Kovvali.

He had been working as an out-of-hours doctor in Sheffield when he was called to examine Mr Fellows.

'Fundamental failures'

He failed to assess him properly or send him to hospital and Mr Fellows later died from diabetic ketoacidosis.

Kovvali pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Sheffield Crown Court in February.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel said it had taken into consideration Kovvali's guilty plea and the fact he had written a letter of apology to the patient's mother.

However, it considered his failures in the case to be basic and fundamental and decided a suspension would not go far enough.

The panel concluded: "Dr Kovvali's departures from the principles set out in good medical practice were so significant that they are fundamentally incompatible with continued registration.

"The public must be protected from Dr Kovvali and the only means of doing so is to erase his name from the medical register."

Kovvali has 28 days to appeal against the decision.

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