Ryan Morse: Doctor was 'too busy' with other patients

Credit: Family photo

A doctor accused of manslaughter through gross negligence said she considered a home visit to a sick 12 year old boy who died a day later, but didn’t because she was too busy with other patients.

Ryan Morse from Abertillery died at his home on 8th December 2012, after suffering with Addison’s disease, but wasn’t diagnosed with the condition until after his death.

Addison’s disease is a very rare but treatable condition that affects the adrenal glands and immune system.

Dr Joanne Rudling and Dr Lindsey Thomas are not accused of failing to diagnose the condition.

However, the prosecution argue they should have personally examined Ryan at home or called for an ambulance.

They both deny the charges against them.

This morning the jury heard police interviews with Dr Lindsey Thomas who spoke to Ryan’s mum over the phone the day before he died, on 7th December 2012.

Ryan Morse died from Addison's disease in 2012 Credit: Family photo

She told police she considered a home visit to examine Ryan but it wasn’t appropriate because she was about to begin surgery and had patients waiting to see her.

Over the phone, Dr Thomas said there was no urgency, stress or concern from Mrs Morse when she spoke to her about Ryan’s symptoms.

Our reporter Alexandra Lodge is in court listening to the evidence:

“I tried to screen him for other symptoms over the phone as best I could.”

Earlier the court heard how Dr Thomas had asked Mrs Morse to “fetch him up” to the surgery, but Mrs Morse told the doctor he wasn’t well enough to leave the house.

The jury heard how Ryan had soiled himself, he was also delirious and had a high temperature.

Dr Thomas told police she advised Mrs Morse to give Ryan paracetamol and keep him hydrated with small sips of water and if his condition didn’t improve then Mrs Morse should call back in a couple of hours.

Dr Thomas said she looked at Ryan’s medical records but didn’t link his history to his condition and symptoms that day.

When Dr Thomas didn’t hear from Mrs Morse she told police she presumed Ryan had settled down.

Ryan died the following day. Dr Thomas told police she was shell shocked and very upset when she heard the news.

Dr Rudling has also pleaded not guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice with an entry in Ryan's medical notes.

The jury also heard interviews with Dr Joanne Rudling this morning.

She admitted that she should have made it clear that entries she made into Ryan's notes were back dated.

Dr Rudling said "I hold my hands up that I should have said they were back dated, but that is how I've always done it. I should have made that clear, but I didn’t put anything in there that wasn’t true.

When asked why she didn't visit Ryan at home to personally examine him she said "If Mrs Morse had asked me to come over, I would, as it's on my way home. She didn’t give me any cause for concern that he was very unwell. I didn’t get the impression that his condition had deteriorated."

Dr Thomas, of Tredegar and Dr Rudling, of Cardiff, both deny manslaughter through gross negligence.

The trial continues.