Doctor who refused to help patient at Peterborough City Hospital is struck off

A doctor who refused to help a patient at Peterborough City Hospital has failed in a last-ditch bid to avoid being struck-off.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 6:00 am
Peterborough City Hospital exteriors EMN-141118-141223009

Dr Ali Abbas appealed at London’s High Court against the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service decision in June last year to erase his name from the medical register.

The specialist registrar in general medicine worked as a locum at the hospital between September 2 2013 and January 17 2014.

In November 2013, he ignored a request from the ‘panicked’ son of a patient to help his father who appeared to have collapsed.

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He refused on the grounds that patient was ‘not his’, Mr Justice Nicol told the court.

He later refused to give his name to the patient’s son and ‘covered up his name badge’.

He then told a deputy sister that ‘it was not his legal responsibility to respond to patients that were not his, unless he actually interacted with or touched them’.

Dr Abbas later worked at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, in Guildford, between December 23 2013 and January 31 2014.

In January 2014, he shouted at or spoke to a patient in an ‘aggressive manner’, was dismissive of her concerns and was ‘abrupt when she began to cry’.

The same month, Dr Abbas was asked to lower his voice.

His ‘disrespectful and inappropriate’ response was, ‘it doesn’t matter, these patients are either old or deaf’.

The tribunal also found various other charges relating to his conduct proved.

His misconduct fell into four categories, it found.

These were ‘disrespectful and inappropriate’ attitude towards colleagues and patients; concerns regarding his clinical care of two patients; ‘dishonesty’; and ‘disregard’ for the General Medical Council investigation.

Dr Abbas’ grounds of appeal included that the tribunal did not take ‘sufficient notice of the threats which were made to him’ by the patient’s son and the steps he took to ‘avoid a confrontation’.

Mr Justice Nicol said the patient’s son ‘accepted that he had behaved aggressively’ towards Dr Abbas at the time of the incident.

He accepted ‘he had panicked when Dr Abbas refused to help his father’.

But the tribunal rejected Dr Abbas’ evidence that the patient’s son ‘had been waiting outside the hospital with friends and family’ and that the doctor was ‘afraid for his safety’, added the judge.

Dr Abbas had a previously unblemished disciplinary record but there had been ‘persistent dishonesty’, said Mr Justice Nicol.

And, dismissing his appeal, the judge concluded: “I could not possibly say that erasure was not a sanction open to the tribunal.”