The Health Service Ombudsman has taken the unusual step of publicly naming a GP who has refused to compensate a patient for causing her distress.
Ombudsman Ann Abraham said she hoped her decision to name William Trevor Hampson in a report published today would encourage him to apologise to the woman, referred to as Mrs S.
In her report, Ms Abraham ruled that Dr Hampson, of the Northway Medical Centre in Dudley, West Midlands, had shown “a lack of empathy” for the patient following an allegation that she swore at a receptionist in August last year.
Dr Hampson, who wrote to Mrs S telling her he would be unable to offer her medical care unless she apologised, did not act in line with local and national guidance, the Ombudsman said.
Ms Abraham’s decision to name a health worker in a report laid before Parliament is only the second time she has done so since taking up the post in 2002.
Mrs S, who denied swearing at the receptionist, claimed she was “bullied” into leaving the practice, which her family had attended for 24 years.
After upholding the patient’s complaint, the Ombudsman recommended that Dr Hampson should provide a sincere apology to Mrs S within one month and provide financial redress of £500 for the “distress and inconvenience” resulting from his actions.
In her report, Ms Abraham stated: “My independent investigation found that, following the incident when Mrs S stormed out, the GP got things wrong.
“As a result of his mistake and his significant part in the breakdown in the relationship with his patient, Mrs S moved to a different GP practice.
“I found that the GP’s actions therefore resulted in Mrs S experiencing injustice in the form of distress and inconvenience alongside feeling bullied. I hope that making this story public encourages the GP to provide the long-overdue remedy to Mrs S.”
Commenting on the case, Ms Abraham added: “Mrs S said she feels that if Dr Hampson agreed with our recommendations and carried all of them out, then this would be sufficient to allow her to move on and draw a line under her complaint and the events that led to it.
“I hope that this report will achieve this outcome for her.”