Coroner says patients at risk from ‘poor communication’ from Loxford Polyclinic to drug services

PUBLISHED: 14:23 05 November 2013 | UPDATED: 14:23 05 November 2013

A coroner has said “poor communication” from the Loxford Polyclinic to drugs services is putting patients at risk.

An inquest into the death of a recovering heroin addict at Walthamstow Coroners’ Court on Friday found GPs had not provided requested information on prescribed medicines.

Joanna Manning, who died in December 2012 from respiratory failure and a toxic cocktail of methadone, anti-depressants and other drugs, was being treated at the clinic for severe asthma and depression.

But the methadone was being given as part of therapy at the Redbridge drug and alcohol service.

Dr Ala Fadhil, who prescribed Miss Manning methadone for her addiction, requested information on her asthma and other medication from the polyclinic in August but received no reply.

The opium substitute can cause breathing problems, creating a high risk for asthma patients.

Dr Fadhil lowered the dose of the drug as a precaution after Miss Manning told him she had respiratory problems.

Coroner Nadia Persaud said therapists should have access to records and not be expected to rely on recovering addicts for medical information.

She added: “While I don’t find it contributed to Miss Manning’s death, I do believe this poor communication presents a risk to patients in the future.

“I will be writing a report to the Loxford Polyclinic and copying it to the CCG and North East London NHS Foundation Trust.”

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