Top doctor to face medical tribunal

Claire Taylor, who died in 2012 from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.
Claire Taylor, who died in 2012 from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.

A former Kirriemuir GP is to face a medical tribunal next month over the death of a local teenager in 2012.

Claire Taylor, 17, died from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes after falling ill two weeks before with an apparent viral infection.

Dr Michelle Watts, NHS Tayside’s associate medical director of primary care services, held two consultations with the teenager at the Kirriemuir Health Centre, in which she was then a partner, after Claire began to feel unwell.

It is claimed that Dr Watts “failed to record patient symptoms” and was “misleading and dishonest” in her records, which meant that Claire’s illness was left undiagnosed.

Paramedics were unable to save her after her condition quickly deteriorated and she died at home.

Claire’s family later launched legal proceedings in the Court of Session over the alleged misdiagnosis but these have been paused while the fitness to practice hearing goes ahead.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Hearing, which will be held in Manchester, will now consider a case of alleged misconduct.

Investigations into doctors against whom complaints have been made are initially carried out by the General Medical Council, which then brings a case against them to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service so a decision about a doctor’s fitness to practice can be made.

It will consider an allegation that Dr Watts failed to arrange appropriate investigations and consider appropriate diagnoses in two separate consultations with Claire.

It has also been alleged that in her notes of the second consultation, Dr Watts failed to record the patient’s symptoms, including new symptoms she knew the patient had and that the record of the second consultation was misleading and dishonest.

After her death, it was revealed the Webster’s High School pupil had been suffering from Type 1 diabetes which is caused by an immune system problem. Those affected by it require multiple daily insulin injections or pump infusions.

Claire’s parents Malcolm and Helen and her two brothers have since raised significant sums of money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Forum and held events to boost awareness of the condition.

Her family this week said it would be inappropriate to comment in advance of next month’s proceedings and the court action.

An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on matters relating to individual members of staff.”