Dr San Lazaro appears before GMC

April 21, 2005

The doctor at the centre of a major child abuse allegation in the North-East is now facing a battle to save her own career.Dr Camille De San Lazaro faces a fitness to practice hearing in front of the General Medical Council (GMC) on Monday which could lead to her being struck off the medical register.The consultant paediatrician examined alleged victims for the discredited Abuse in Early Years report published by Newcastle City Council in 1998 which wrongly claimed two nursery nurses were responsible for widescale abuse of youngsters in their care at the nursery.The two nurses – Dawn Reed and Christopher Lilley – won damages of £200,000 each from Newcastle City Council after High Court judge Mr Justice Eady declared them innocent of all charges and condemned the report during a six-month libel trial.Now Dr San Lazaro’s own career as consultant paediatrician at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and senior lecturer in paediatric forensic medicine at Newcastle University hangs in the balance.She remained employed by Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust and the university after an independent review commissioned by her employers – but that decision could now be overruled by the GMC.A statement released by the GMC last night said: “The Fitness to Practice Panel will inquire into allegations that DrCamille De San Lazaro, a consultant paediatrician, provided a report to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board regarding allegations of sexual abuse at a nursery, which resulted in criminal charges being brought against two workers at that nursery.”It is also alleged that having been acquitted on all charges, the two workers brought libel proceedings against Newcastle City Council and a review team, during which Dr San Lazaro gave evidence on oath and agreed that the report contained various deficiencies, inaccuracies and inconsistencies.”A GMC spokeswoman confirmed last night that the hearing at the organisation’s London headquarters could lead to Dr San Lazaro being struck off the medical register.But last night, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Len Fenwick said that he stood by the decision to allow Dr San Lazaro to continue working at the trust.”The Newcastle Hospitals and the University of Newcastle commissioned an independent review by four eminent paediatricians into the clinical practice of Dr Camille Lazaro, senior lecturer and honorary consultant paediatrician with a specialist interest in forensic paediatrics, following the outcome of the libel case.”As a consequence the Trust has a continuing confidence in the clinical skills and commitment of Dr Lazaro and these are reflected in the review findings.”Currently Dr Lazaro is deployed in the field of general paediatrics and, with her agreement, not in any area of child protection and all this entails, pending the outcome of the GMC hearing.”A spokeswoman for the Trust said Dr San Lazaro did not wish to comment.The hearing is expected to continue until May 12.

IC Newcastle

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