A TRAINEE doctor who got his East Lancashire colleagues to sign him in for teaching sessions has been suspended for three months.
Dr Omar Sultan Chaudhry was told by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) that his behaviour, while training at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, represented ‘repeated and persistent dishonesty’.
And a later unauthorised absence from a placement at Darwen Healthcare, at the town’s health centre, amounted to misconduct, ruled the panel, which decided his fitness to practice had been impaired after a two-day hearing in Manchester.
Dr Harvey Marcovitch, who chaired the MPTS panel, said that while his misconduct was ‘serious’ it was not incompatible with him remaining on the medical register.
He added while Dr Chaudhry may not fully appreciate the effects of his behaviour he had ‘accepted you should have behaved differently, that you have now apologised to the panel for your behaviour and have stated you are “deeply ashamed” for involving others in your dishonesty.’
An investigation was launched by the hospital trust in 2011 amid suspicions that a number of their foundation level doctors were in danger of missing attendance targets for educational sessions.
One of Dr Chaudhry’s fellow trainees, Dr Michael Dawber, said he was aware of at least two student GPs who were being ‘signed in’ on attendance registers without making an appearance for the training sessions.
Later when questioned about the absences, Dr Chaudhry initially denied what he had done and failed to attend meetings to discuss the matter. He has since told investigators he was facing serious pressures with a relative at the time between September 2010 and July 2011.
He was also found to have had a day’s unauthorised absence from Darwen Healthcare in March 2011 on a day he was due to take surgeries at the James Street West practice.
The doctor, who has worked since at a practice near Oldham, was said by supervisor Dr Ian Watson to be ‘extremely keen’ and have ‘excellent team working skills’.