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Consultant denies professional misconduct over infant trials.

Byline: Sarah Probert

A hospital consultant allowed confidential patient records at the heart of a controversy involving trials of a new infant medical treatment to be released to journalists, a disciplinary panel was told.

Dr Keith Prowse allegedly made public documents concerning a couple involved in the ventilator trials on babies while he was acting chief executive of North Staffordshire Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent.

The couple, Carl and Debbie Henshall, were 'horrified' when forms agreeing to let their two premature babies take part in the trials were disclosed, the General Medical Council's professional conduct committee was told.

Respiratory consultant Dr Prowse, of Kyriole, Pinewood Road, Ashley Heath, Market Drayton, Shropshire, denies serious professional misconduct for what Rebecca Poulet QC, counsel for the GMC, described as a 'grave error of judgment' in 1997.

He admitted allowing the hospital's public relations firm to release the forms to a Channel 4 TV news reporter, but denied failing to obtain consent from the Henshalls.

Dr Prowse, aged 57, a former medical director at the hospital, also denies allowing the records to be given to a journalist on a local newspaper.

Mr and Mrs Henshall signed consent by proxy forms for their daughters to be put in the Continuous Negative Extrathoracic Pressure ventilators after they were born prematurely in February and December, 1992, Mrs Poulet told the hearing.

The first child, Child B, died after just 60 hours, while the second, Child C, was left with severe cerebral palsy, the GMC was told.

The hearing continues.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 17, 2001
Words:250
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