Probe into Newham GP is launched

Newham health chiefs have launched an investigation following secret filming screened on TV on Monday night showing how doctors are missing obvious symptoms of possibly life-threatening illnesses,

In the Dispatches programme on Channel 4, actors were given information about key symptoms and sent into doctors surgeries all over the country.

Dr Inayat Inyatullah, of Barking Road, East Ham, was secretly filmed during at his surgery by an actor who pretended to have symptoms of bowel cancer. Accusations were made about the quality of his care.

Yesterday, Dr Sadru Kheraj a Medical Director for NHS East London and the City said: “We take the care of patients very seriously. Every patient should expect to have the highest level of care when they see their local GP.

“As a priority we are undertaking a full investigation into these allegations headed by myself, as medical director, and our director of primary care commissioning. Safe, quality patient care is paramount to us.

“Every day thousands of patients are seen by GPs and their staff and are cared for with dignity. GP practices take great care to ensure that quality care is given to their patients. We expect the highest of standards from GPs and take action in those few cases when GPs do not meet those standards.

“If you feel you have experienced behaviour or care that you feel is unsatisfactory from your GP I urge you to contact NHS East London and the City patient advice and liaison service. The information that patients tell us about their doctor’s performance is vital to ensure that standards of care are kept at a high level.”

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NHS East London and the City raised concerns about Dr Inyatullah’s quality of care in 2004 with the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC is responsible for protecting, promoting and maintaining the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. As a result he was required to undertake a retraining programme. This programme of remediation was over two years and at the end of this period the GMC found that he was fit to practise.

All NHS GP practices in east London and the City are regularly monitored as a matter of course by NHS East London and the City this includes an annual review process that looks at performance.

Dr Sadru Kheraj added: “If you are a patient of Dr Inyatullah, or any GP working in east London and the City, and you are concerned about their level of care we urge you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison service: PALs on free-phone 0800 389 3093 or by email”

A spokeswoman for NHS East London and the City added: “If you have similar symptoms to the ‘patient’ in TV programme then please see your GP. If you have blood in your stools we urge you to see your GP as soon as possible. Early detection of cancer saves lives.”