Porsche McGregor-Sims, 27, from Portsmouth, died on April 14 2020, after being admitted to the Cosham hospital the previous day with shortness of breath after she had a lung infection. She was given the all-clear from having coronavirus - but tragically died the following day.
Her cause of death was unknown at the time but it later emerged she died from cervical cancer.
At Portsmouth Coroner’s Court, Porsche’s family raised questions over her death - with a gynaecologist locum consultant at QA coming under fire for not carrying out an internal investigation after she had been referred to him by her GP surgery, Westlands Medical Centre, amid concerns.
Dr Peter Schlesinger, who was only a locum gynaecologist for nine weeks at QA from December 2019, defended his actions after being grilled by the family and coroner Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp for not carrying out a vaginal inspection and not referring Porsche for further investigations when she visited him in January 2020.
‘She had a normal smear history (after a test in October 2017) and normal ultrasound scan. She had symptoms of dysfunctional bleeding which meant that was more likely than cervical cancer,’ he said.
He added: ‘The fact I was wrong I apologise.’
Dr Schlesinger told the hearing he believed Porsche’s wide range of symptoms of bleeding and pain in the lower abdomen were not a sign of cancer. He suggested a hormonal treatment instead of contraceptive injections – which Porsche had previously been taking and can cause bleeding.
Porsche’s mother Fiona Hawke, 52, told the doctor: ‘She came to your office and you had all the IBS stuff ready.
‘You didn’t do the most basic thing - give her an internal examination.
‘She was a young woman who was told she might have cancer. She was on her own and scared.
‘You focused on IBS and a different type of bleeding. Having an internal examination is one one of the most simple and fundamental ways to assess someone for cervical cancer.
‘I’m still confused why you choose not to.’
Dr Schlesinger also admitted he may have carried out the internal examination if he had had a ‘chaperone’ with him at QA to facilitate the procedure.
‘If someone was in the room with me I probably would have done. But we are all here today with the benefit of hindsight,’ he said.
‘With people of her condition I would not necessarily carry out a routine examination.’
The inquest was adjourned to a later date.
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