Meningitis Now staff member Clara Wiggins

Doctor struck off after Layla-Rose meningitis death inquest

Clara Wiggins | 18th December 2019

A doctor who misdiagnosed six-year-old Layla-Rose Ermenekli and then lied about it at her inquest has been struck off the medical register

Doctor struck off after Layla-Rose meningitis death inquest

Layla-Rose died from meningitis after her symptoms were missed at Oldham’s Royal Hospital in February 2017. An inquest later heard that the death could have been avoided – and a General Medical Council hearing in Manchester found more than twenty mistakes and dishonest statements against Doctor Harsha Rajana. 

A news report on ITV said that Dr Rajana had “failed to consider septicaemia, he failed to take blood tests, he failed to give fluids… then he lied about his failings at Layla-Rose’s inquest and at the tribunal here in Manchester”.

After the hearing, Layla-Rose’s mum Kirsty Ermenekli – a long time supporter of Meningitis Now and member of the Meningococcal Working Group – said that Dr Rajana had lied about Layla Rose’s rash, saying Kirsty had told him her daughter had walked into a table. “As a mum you question yourself, saying “did I? did I see it?" And now it’s like a relief, like no I was right, I didn’t see it and the first I heard of it was when the junior doctor pointed it out”.

The hearing also heard that the doctor’s dishonesty had been persistent and undermined public confidence and erasure from the medical register was the “only option”. 

Amazing resilience

Meningitis Now CEO Dr Tom Nutt said the thoughts of everyone at the charity were with Kirsty and husband Ricky, as well as Layla’s siblings and everyone else who knew and loved her.

“We know how hard the last few years have been for the Ermeneklis, but I am always in awe of how well they handle everything life throws at them,” he said.

“Kirsty has an amazing resilience and is an inspiration to all of us at Meningitis Now and all the families we support out there."

“I hope the outcome from this hearing helps the Ermenekli family as they move forward, but we also want them to know that we will continue to be here to support them through whatever comes next."

“In the meantime I would like to reassure our supporters that cases like this are rare and we should continue to have confidence in our health workers.”

Read Layla-Rose's story here.

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