A north London GP breached his professional duty towards Baby P in the months leading up to his death and “deprived” himself of an opportunity to protect the child, the General Medical Council has ruled.
Dr Jerome Ikwueke failed to consider the possibility that unusual bruising was a result of child abuse, the GMC fitness to practise panel found. He also failed to carry out a full examination, refer him for a paediatric assessment or alert other professionals involved in the toddler’s care after noticing a “marked change” in his demeanour eight days before his death, a hearing in central London was told.
Baby P - now named as Peter Connelly - died aged 17 months in Tottenham, north London, on 3 August 2007 after suffering sustained abuse.
He suffered 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over the final eight months of his life. His mother, her boyfriend, Steven Barker, and his brother, Jason Owen, were jailed at the Old Bailey in May last year for causing or allowing his death.
Peter had bruising on his chest and head when he saw Dr Ikwueke, 63, at his north London surgery on 13 October 2006 but he accepted his mother’s claim that he had fallen down the stairs the day before at “face value”, the GMC concluded.
Chairman Judith Worthington said: “If you had considered the possibility of child abuse you would have put yourself in a position to take appropriate steps for the care of the child. The interests of the child are paramount. You deprived yourself of the opportunity to protect this child and this was a serious breach of your professional duty towards Peter Connelly.”