After the tragic death of four year old boy Daniel Pelka in the United Kingdom and the sentencing of his parents for murder, questions turned to the conduct of a general practitioner who did not act adequately over concerns raised about the starved schoolboy.

Guilty of misconduct

Dr Mohammed Pathan was found guilty of misconduct on Wednesday 10 June 2015. The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service Panel, sitting in Manchester, heard evidence that the deputy head teacher at Daniel’s school telephoned Dr Pathan in January 2012 because she was so concerned about the boy. She said she told Dr Pathan that Daniel had lost weight following the Christmas break and described a noticeable change in his appearance. She said that he had been stealing food from other children’s bags and from classrooms but was nevertheless still losing weight. She also said his skin was grey and translucent. Dr Pathan denied the teacher had discussed Daniel’s weight loss and pallor. He did however accept that he did not formulate an action plan to ensure that any concerns were followed up or make an adequate record of the detail of the telephone call in Daniels records. The Panel was satisfied that his actions represented a serious departure from acceptable standards of practice and amounted to misconduct. However, because Dr Pathan had worked for 44 years without any concerns raised, the Panel concluded that his fitness to practice was not impaired by reason of misconduct.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service Panel will decide on 1 July 2015 whether to place a warning on the doctor’s registration.