Parents to sue over epilepsy row
july 2002

More than 200 families are planning legal action against Leicester Royal
Infirmary after children were wrongly diagnosed with epilepsy.
An investigation has already shown 150 children were either given the wrong
diagnosis, or the wrong treatments.

Some children were put on cocktails of drugs in excess of normal limits.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Andrew Holton is currently under investigation
in connection with the scandal, and 1,900 cases are under review.

Parents and carers met hospital managers on Sunday, where it was revealed
how many are pursuing legal action.

Many voiced concerns about how they have still not had a full explanation
about their childrens' conditions, or the effects of the epilepsy drugs that
were prescribed.

Duncan Watts' 14-year-old daughter Tara was ordered to take up to 32 tablets
a day after she was wrongly diagnosed by Dr Holton.

Mr Watts said: "He put her on higher levels of medication than was necessary
and kept increasing them.

"Since we have got her off the medication, we have got a new child. She
seems to be enjoying life a lot more, she's alert."

It is more than a year since Dr Holton was suspended from his job at the

Now the General Medical Council has changed the details of his registration,
effectively stopping him working while investigations are carried out.

Claims were also made at the meeting that parents are waiting up to 18
months for diagnostic tests to be carried out on their children, while
others were able to pay privately for the tests at the hospital.

Hospital bosses said they would investigate the claims, and said money was
no object in the inquiry into the scandal.

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