Peterborough doctor cleared of misconduct
A Peterborough doctor has been cleared of misconduct after it was alleged he took private work while scheduled to be working for NHS.
Dr Prakash Nair was cleared at a tribunal last month.
It was alleged that on a number of occasions between December 2017 and September 2018, Dr Nair undertook paid private work at the Fitzwilliam Hospital when he was scheduled to be working for the NHS at Peterborough City Hospital.
It wasalleged that Dr Nair failed to inform his Clinical Director and/or General Manager at Peterborough Hospital of the conflict in booking, failed to request permission to undertake private work, failed to inform them that he had received payment for time not spent at the hospital, and that he failed to reimburse Peterborough Hospital.
The tribunal heard that at the time of the Allegation, Dr Nair was practicing full time at PCH working 12 sessions a week, each session or unit amounting to 4 hours.
He also worked at the Fitzwilliam Hospital on Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays.
In 2014, Dr Nair received a letter from the medical director at PCH which set out an agreed future plan where there was a conflict between completion of private and NHS work, arising from a single incident of concern. Dr Nair had been asked by PCH to cancel annual leave for a week due to a lack of Consultant cover, which he did. Dr Nair requested that his clinics/lists be cancelled at Fitzwilliam Hospital. However, when it transpired that his clinic/lists had not been
cancelled, Dr Nair arranged for a Registrar to cover his NHS work and went to complete the private work.
In September 2017, an anonymous allegation was submitted to PCH that Dr Nair had been providing ‘fee-paying services’ at the FItzwilliam Hospital during time that he should have been working for and was being paid by PCH, and an investigation was launched.
A report from the tribunal said: “The Tribunal’s impression of Dr Nair, was that he is highly committed and passionate about his work for the NHS and has patient safety at the core of his medical practice. When asked by the Tribunal about his work to help patients contribute to the care they received, he was passionate, convincing and enthusiastic. His sense of responsibility towards his patients was impressive. During his evidence, Dr Nair acknowledged that he was responsible for his actions and that his judgment was compromised due to his having prioritised patients. The Tribunal was reassured during its questioning of Dr Nair when his answers were of a spontaneous nature that he tried his best to assist it with explanations into his actions. In all the circumstances, the Tribunal found Dr Nair to be an honest, genuine and credible witness.
“Dr Nair has practised in the UK for 34 years. He was sent a letter, dated 18 November 2014 asking him to take care that his private work did not overlap with his NHS duties. Save for that letter, he has had no other complaints made against him for his practice. The Tribunal found Dr Nair to be of good character.”
In conclusion, the tribunal said: “The Tribunal has concluded that Dr Nair’s conduct did not fall so far short of the standards of conduct reasonably to be expected of a doctor as to amount to misconduct.
“The Tribunal does not now need to consider impairment, but were it to do so the Tribunal would have found that Dr Nair has demonstrated full insight, that any conduct, which this Tribunal found not to amount to misconduct but rather errors of judgement, has been remedied and it is unlikely that there will be any repetition. The Tribunal has found that Dr Nair did not put a patient or patients at unwarranted risk of harm, that he has not brought the medical profession into disrepute and is not liable do so in the future. He has not breached one of the fundamental tenets of the medical profession, nor has he undermined the profession. He has not acted dishonestly.
“The Tribunal has therefore determined that Dr Nair’s fitness to practise is not impaired.”
For more information about the case, visit https://www.mpts-uk.org/-/media/mpts-rod-files/dr-prakash-nair-13-sep-21.pdf