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Cancer doctor allowed to prescribe drugs again

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Dr Henry Mannings, founder of the Star Throwers cancer charity, was referred to the General Medical Council (GMC) regarding an allegation that he gave chemotherapy treatment without authorisation to two patients at his charity.

Dr Mannings has stated that he used an anti-angiogenic treatment to stop the blood vessels in the patients’ tumours from growing, which is often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately, both patients have now passed away but no complaints have been made by their families and they are said to be happy with the treatment which Dr Mannings provided to the patients.

Dr Mannings was called to an Interim Orders Panel Hearing in November 2012 by the Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal Service (MPTS). The Panel decided to impose an Interim Conditions of Practise Order on his registration for 18 months whilst the GMC carried out their investigations into the allegations. The conditions confined Dr Mannings prescribing of medication to within the NHS and required him to obtain the GMC’s approval before accepting any posts.

At an Early Review Hearing this week, a new Interim Orders Panel considered Dr Mannings case and decided to remove the interim order, allowing Dr Mannings to continue practising without restrictions.

Following the Panel’s decision, the GMC said: “The panel has taken into account the principle of proportionality and balanced the need to protect members of the public and the public interest against the consequences for you of the imposition of conditions on your registration. It considers that an interim order could have a serious impact on you and the patients in your care and the risk posed does not justify these consequences.”

Dr Mannings was delighted with the outcome, stating that: “I am feeling relieved and happy especially from the patients’ point of view. We can now start treating patients who had to stop.”

Doctors and other professionals are entitled to attend their Interim Order Panel hearings with the benefit of legal representation and make representations to the Panel before any order is made. We have an excellent track record in defending clients before Interim Order Panels and in particular, we have found that a registrant’s prospects of avoiding a suspension in the most serious of cases are substantially improved where they have the benefit of specialist legal advice or representation.

By Laura Hannah

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