Paediatrician claims she was overworked

A paediatrician facing allegations that she exaggerated accounts of
child sex abuse told health bosses she faced a “gigantic” backlog
of work, a medical tribunal heard this week.

Dr Camille De San Lazaro was forced to change bed sheets and clean
floors while heading a child abuse department at Newcastle’s Royal
Victoria Infirmary in the mid-1990s, the hearing was told.

The General Medical Council professional conduct committee was told
that Lazaro was the only doctor appointed to the department
full-time, despite repeated pleas to health chiefs to employ more

At one stage Lazaro was involved in four large-scale child abuse
inquiries running simultaneously, the tribunal heard.

She said: “I was coming near to breaking point in terms of my
ability to provide a service as was required.”

Nursery nurses Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie were charged with
child sex abuse following an investigation by Lazaro into claims of
abuse at Shieldfield nursery in Newcastle in 1993. They were later
cleared of all charges.

Lazaro has admitted that a report she wrote about the allegations
was overstated and exaggerated.

She denies a charge of serious professional misconduct.

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