Public inquiry could take place over post-mortem tests

Date published: 14 September 2018

A senior coroner from Heywood is considering whether to seek a public inquiry over a pathologist who is accused of failing post-mortems.

Senior Coroner Joanne Kearsley must now decide what to do about 26 outstanding inquests, which may be delayed for months, if not years.

Doctor Khalid Ahmed, who worked as a consultant histopathologist at the Royal Oldham Hospital, had conducted more than 1,300 post-mortems on behalf of the Manchester North Coroner’s Office between 2007 and 2017.

He qualified as a doctor in Bangalore, India in 1989 before later joining the Pennine Acute Trust.

However, following concerns raised about his private post-mortem examination work, a recent review into Dr Ahmed’s examinations found some reports had an ‘incorrect’ cause of death given.

Professor Simon Kim Suvarna, a consultant histopathologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, examined some of Dr Ahmed’s post-mortem reports, finding some of them to be ‘inadequate’ and ‘incorrect’.

A police investigation is ongoing following a referral by the coroner and Dr Ahmed was dismissed from his post in August.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed: “GMP is assessing what, if any, criminal offences may have been committed in relation to findings presented to the coroner.”

Relatives of the 26 went to a hearing in Heywood on Tuesday (11 September) to listen to the arguments for and against seeking a public inquiry.

One of the families involved has asked Ms Kearsley to refer the matter to the Secretary of State, whilst other families have said they do not want delays.

Allan Porter was 32 when he died at his home in Heywood in 2010. His cause of death was given as a heart attack, which the family has always disputed.

His partner, Amanda Stephens, who was pregnant when Allan died, witnessed his death.

She said: “I was with Allan when he passed, and the cause of death given didn’t match the paramedic’s reports.

“We want him [Dr Ahmed] struck off the medical register, so he can’t do this to anyone else. We just want answers.”

Mr Porter's mother, Pamela Porter, told BBC North West Tonight that Dr Ahmed’s report claimed "Allan had a heart and a liver of a 90-year-old man”.

Ms Kearsley is expected to announce a decision within the next couple of weeks.

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