Surgery ban for grandad who won £30k payout over wife's death
GRIEVING Martin Howell has been banned from a doctors' surgery – days after winning a £30,000 payout following his wife's death.
Trucker Martin received the out-of-court settlement two years after his wife Irene died from a heart condition despite being diagnosed with bronchitis by her GP.
The doctor at the centre of the row has since retired and no longer works at Meir Health Centre.
But Martin – who has moved back to Park Hall after briefly living in Goldenhill – was stunned to be told he cannot re-register with the Saracen Way practice because of the dispute.
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His appeal to Stoke-on-Trent's NHS was rejected over the weekend.
In a letter the surgery said: "Your relationship with the practice, as a result of the action taken against us, has broken down."
The 60-year-old said: "I'm being penalised for complaining about a doctor who I blame for my wife's death.
"It is absolutely disgusting. These doctors are employed with taxpayers' money and they can just pick and choose who they want."
Irene was first diagnosed with a heart problem at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in 2008.
Two years later the grandmother-of-one started suffering breathing problems and water blisters on her legs.
But Martin said Doctor HL Verma kept prescribing Irene antibiotics after saying she had bronchitis.
Martin eventually saw a different doctor at the same practice who sent Irene to the University Hospital where she died within hours.
Father-of-two Martin, of Delaney Drive, added: "I thought they would just give her some drugs and after a couple of days she would be back home.
"By 2am, I had to make the awful decision to turn off her life-support machine.
"It was never about the money. I just wanted it to be recognised that something had gone terribly wrong."
The couple were married for 39 years after living opposite each other in their teens.
Part of the pay-out has been split between sons Steven, aged 34, and Mark, aged 31, of Blythe Bridge.
The NHS confirmed Dr Verma is no longer registered as a GP.
A spokesman for the Staffordshire Cluster of PCTs said: "Dr Verma retired and removed his name from the General Medical Council Register so he can no longer practice."
The practice declined to comment on the payout and the surgery ban.
Dr HL Verma was unavailable for comment.