The headline points to a shocking abuse of a position of trust where a doctor dishonestly obtained drugs for a friend.
Dr Khan was working as a locum doctor at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford. This hospital is part of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust in March 2018.
Dr Khan was working in the Accident & Emergency Department when “he wrote two prescriptions for two different patients whose names he had taken randomly from the Trust’s computer database. Dr Khan has accepted that these patients had not attended the Emergency Department during his shift and therefore he had not seen them.”
He wrote prescriptions for drugs used in pre-menstrual syndrome and to treat menopausal symptoms. He then left the prescriptions at the pharmacy overnight.
The pharmacist checked the database the following day and queried the prescriptions because one patient was pregnant so should not have been prescribed the drug. The other had not visited Accident & Emergency for about 6 months.
At a meeting Dr Khan admitted that he actually wrote the prescriptions for the use of a friend who lived in Pakistan. He was dismissed. The General Medical Council was informed which led to his appearance before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing in July 2019.
The Tribunal heard that he had previously been found to have been dishonest, and had been suspended for 6 months. In this case they found that his fitness to practice as a doctor was impaired by reason of misconduct, due to his dishonesty. The Tribunal decided that “Dr Khan’s misconduct, particularly that concerning dishonesty, is fundamentally incompatible with his continued registration on the medical register”. He was erased from the register and cannot practice as a doctor in the UK.
The Hospital Trust acted quickly to dismiss Dr Khan. Although they didn’t carry out a formal internal investigation they did check for other falsified prescriptions.
What Dr Khan did is very rare. But we have come across cases where members of the public have been prescribed, or given, the wrong medication, the wrong strength of medication or told to take the drug for the wrong period of time. Occasionally, the error has only been picked up by a pharmacist when the patient takes a repeat prescription. The wrong dose, or the wrong medication taken for the wrong period of time can cause you problems. Sometimes the injuries can be permanent and long-lasting.
Dr Darren Conway PhD is a solicitor in the Medical Negligence Department here at Sternberg Reed, specialising in all aspects of Medical Negligence and Clinical Negligence Claims. If you want to find out more and see how Darren and Sternberg Reed could help you, click HERE
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This article does not constitute legal advice and you should contact us directly if you are facing a similar situation.