AN EXPERIENCED doctor’s inability to diagnose a rare illness in a young woman amounted to gross failure, a coroner has ruled.

Harneet Arora was diagnosed with Still’s disease in 2015 and died from Macrophage-activation syndrome (MAS) at Royal Berkshire Hospital on December 30, 2016.

The 29-year-old, who lived on Southcote Road, Reading, had previously pleaded with a consultant rheumatologist to treat her symptoms of fever more seriously after her medication was reduced.

Dr Aman Khan has since had his position terminated by Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, although he told the coroner he had resigned.

A three-day inquest at Reading Town Hall heard how Arora was admitted to hospital on December 20 and her condition declined rapidly to the point where she could not be treated after a week.

Her husband Amrinderjit Singh made a number of calls to Dr Khan, but his concerns were not addressed.

Peter Bedford, senior coroner for Berkshire, said the trust was not responsible and recorded a conclusion of natural causes, attributed to the lack of care by Dr Khan.

He said: “The position of neglect is very different for Dr Khan. The trust put the blame on him and they were critical of the quality of his care.

“The family hold him culpable and the inconsistency of his evidence left a lot to be desired. I am satisfied that this is an example of gross failure.

Reading Chronicle:

“A doctor who professed to have knowledge of Still’s disease and reduced her medication considerably is a failure to provide basic medical care.”

Nurse Donna Heneghan was forced to escalate the matter to a senior consultant after Dr Khan ignored the family’s requests.

Steroid therapy may have been used sooner to treat the MAS, but doctors were concerned this could worsen her condition.

Mr Bedford was satisfied that this lack of action was appropriate given the lack of national guidance for Still’s disease and described it as a ‘complex and challenging’ case.

He added: “Appropriate treatment given by December 27 would have allowed her to survive."