Patient acquitted after woman GP stabbed

GPC warns that knife attack case highlights risks of GPs working alone under the extended hours DES.

A patient who repeatedly stabbed a Glasgow GP has been acquitted of attempted murder on the grounds of insanity.

Ian McGregor, 62, has been detained in a secure hospital for three months, and is awaiting further assessment.

Mr McGregor attacked Dr Helen Jackson in her surgery in Hyndland Road last August, after accusing her of lying about his condition.

He told Dr Jackson that he had not been properly treated for an ingrowing toe nail.

When she told him she could no longer be his GP and made to end the consultation, he said 'This is your end' before starting to stab her with a knife.

Dr Jackson was rescued by other staff, after her screams alerted them to the attack. A patient restrained Mr McGregor until the police could arrive.

After the court case Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy GPC chairman, said that it highlighted the risks GPs would run if forced to work alone to qualify for England's extended hours DES.

'We've said repeatedly that doctors working on their own are extremely vulnerable to attack, particularly in the evenings,' he said.

The DES does not recognise two GPs each working an extra hour simultaneously as two hours of extended hours cover. Instead a single GP will have to do both hours. This is not the case in Scotland.

Dr Vautrey said that the latest DoH guidance highlighted the issue of safety, but did nothing to address the problem.

Mr McGregor has been detained at a Glasgow medium-secure unit under an interim compulsion order.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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