Support for GP who wrote prescriptions for sister’s cat

Dr Liz Dawson and Andrew McHugh, practice manager at Horsefair Surgery in Banbury. NNL-140705-125144001
Dr Liz Dawson and Andrew McHugh, practice manager at Horsefair Surgery in Banbury. NNL-140705-125144001

The partners at Banbury’s Horsefair surgery have 
offered their full support to a GP who was featured in a national newspaper report this week after she prescribed drugs for her sister’s cat.

The Mail Online carried an article on Saturday that stated GP Liz Dawson, 35, had been reported to the General Medical Council (GMC) by a whistleblower after writing five insulin prescriptions for her sister’s cat because she thought the vet’s fees were too expensive.

The paper said Dr Dawson submitted five private prescriptions for insulin, needles and chemotherapy tablets to Cox and Robinson pharmacy in South Bar between June and December 2013.

The article said all the items were charged at cost and the prescriptions were made out ‘for use in my practice’ – despite being intended for the cat.

But following an investigation by the GMC and the NHS guidance team, the Horsefair Surgery partners issued a statement to the Banbury Guardian on Monday stating they would take no action against Dr Dawson.

The statement said: “This matter has been fully investigated by the GMC and the NHS guidance team.

“No further action has been taken and Dr Dawson’s fitness to practice has not been called into question.

“The partners at Horsefair Surgery have fully supported Dr Dawson throughout and don’t wish to make any further comment.”

Practice manager Andrew McHugh added: “Dr Dawson is a really good doctor and I am delighted to be able to call her my colleague.”

The GMC would not confirm the details of the prescriptions or a statement the Mail printed in which it claimed the GMC said Dr Dawson had, by treating a cat, ‘transgressed the legal remit of veterinary practice’.

But it did confirm no action would be taken against Dr Dawson.

GMC Chief Executive Niall Dickson said: “We do not normally comment on cases unless we have taken action of some kind on a doctor’s registration.

“What we can say in 
general is that doctors have access to the whole range of medications and they must exercise that privilege responsibly.

“That does not include prescribing for animals.”

According to the General Medical Council (GMC) the medical treatment of animals is restricted to those registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.