South East Wales

Ryan Morse manslaughter trial: GP 'added notes' after death

Dr Joanne Rudling and Dr Lindsey Thomas Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Dr Joanne Rudling (l) and Dr Lindsey Thomas

A GP accused of causing a schoolboy's death admitted adding an entry to his medical notes two days after he died, a jury has heard.

Ryan Morse, 12, from Brynithel, Blaenau Gwent, died in 2012 from undiagnosed Addison's disease.

Dr Joanne Rudling, 46, of Cardiff, and Dr Lindsey Thomas, 42, of Tredegar, deny manslaughter by gross negligence.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Dr Rudling admitted failing to note down a phone call with his mother before he died.

Ryan first fell ill in July 2012 and weighed just 4st 11lb (30kg) at the time of his death, in December of that year.

Prosecutors allege that, after Ryan's mother, Carol, made several appointments at Abernant Surgery in Abertillery, the accused doctors failed to properly diagnose his condition.

Dr Rudling also denies attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to his medical records.

Image copyright Family photo

On Thursday, the court was read a transcript of an interview with Dr Rudling conducted by her health board a month after Ryan died.

She told them she had a telephone conversation with Ryan's mother the night before he died.

When asked why she did not record it in notes contemporaneously, she said: "I hold my hands up, I was distracted - we were getting the surgery ready to have a new floor done."

She said she entered the consultation notes later, adding: "But I didn't put anything in there that wasn't true."

According to the transcript, it was put to her that, when someone has died it is more important to make it clear an entry is retrospective, and asked: "Did you make it clear?"

"No I didn't," she replied.

The trial continues.

Addison's disease

  • Adrenal gland is damaged and not enough cortisol and aldosterone are produced
  • About 8,400 people in the UK have it
  • Symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss
  • People can also develop small areas of darkened skin or darkened lips or gums

Related Topics

More on this story