Question mark over future of Norfolk cancer charity after complaint against founder

PUBLISHED: 11:11 28 November 2012

Dr Henry Mannings in his office at the Star Throwers cancer support charity in Wymondham.

Dr Henry Mannings in his office at the Star Throwers cancer support charity in Wymondham.

©Archant Photographic 2010

A question mark has been raised about the future of a valued cancer support charity in Wymondham after an official complaint was made about its founder.

Dr Henry Mannings, formed Star Throwers at a former GP surgery in the town, three years ago to provide more support to cancer patients and their families.

However, the charity’s future is in doubt after a complaint was made about the NHS-registered doctor to the General Medical Council (GMC) surrounding his treatment of two patients.

An Interim Orders Panel (IOP) of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) placed conditions on Dr Mannings’ ability to practise at a hearing on Tuesday, whilst an investigation continues.

One of the 18 month-long conditions is that he must confine his prescribing to posts within the NHS and not prescribe any medications in private practice.

It comes after a consultant made an allegation that Dr Manning gave chemotherapy to two patients with terminal cancer without authorisation.

The treatments relate to Rachel Lane, 27, and Thelma Dowsett, 78, who both died last month. However, their families have praised the treatment received from Dr Mannings and Star Throwers and said his help had extended their loved ones’ lives.

Star Throwers, an independent advice, therapy, and drop-in centre in Melton Road, Wymondham, was established in late 2009 by Dr Mannings, who has worked for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich and the James Paget Hospital.

Dr Mannings, an oncology specialist, established the charity in frustration at the lack of support for people living with cancer.

Families helped by Star Throwers are writing letters of support for Dr Mannings to the GMC.

Former patient Lester London, 90, of Wymondham, who he was diagnosed with the degenerative neurological condition ataxia six years ago, said he had no doubt that Dr Mannings had helped prolong his life. He added that he was “shocked” when he heard a complaint had been made against his former doctor

“He is a fantastic chap and I feel indebted to him and he has managed to keep me going. He is a real doctor and is able to talk to people and be sympathetic,” he said.

Dr Mannings has also been told that he must inform the GMC of any new posts in the medical profession and allow the GMC to exchange information with his employer or any contracting body for which he provides medical services.

A spokesman for the MPTS said the IOP has made no judgement on any allegations against the doctor. The IOP will review its conditions in six months.

Dr Mannings was unavailable for comment yesterday.

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