Royal Bolton Hospital doctor 'phoned patients with sexual motive'
A BOLTON hospital doctor spent hours surfing the internet and making personal phone calls while he should have been attending to patients, a tribunal has heard.
Dr Muhammed Imran, a registrar in the obstetrics and gynaecology department at the Royal Bolton Hospital, would turn up late for clinics and leave early before patients had been seen.
He would also ignore instructions from consultants and made inappropriate phone calls to two female patients, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service Fitness to Practise panel was told.
The doctor, who worked at the hospital from August 2010 until he was sacked in April 2012, did not attend the start of the hearing in Manchester yesterday (TUE) and the panel was told he is now thought to be living and working in Pakistan.
Robin Kitching, representing the General Medical Council which brings the case against Dr Imran, told the hearing he was required to attend clinics two or three times a week, but colleagues estimated he was late to about 80 per cent of these by up to 20 minutes.
One one occasion he even left a Women’s Health Care Clinic half an hour before it was due to finish and refused to return when phoned by a nurse and a consultant.
“In an e-mail Dr Imran said he had to return home to pick up food for his on call shift,” said Mr Kitching.
He added that colleagues often had to go in search of the doctor, sometimes in the middle of ward rounds, and would find him in the hospital’s computer room.
“He would disappear for extended periods of time, even when it was busy on wards,” said Mr Kitching.
An analysis of his internet use showed that the vast majority of the time he was using computers for personal use for an average of more than an hour a day, surfing websites such as a Pakistan news magazine and Autotrader.
One day he spent four and a half hours of his shift on the computer.
The tribunal also heard how the doctor was instructed to remove a intrauterine contraceptive coil from a patient taken into hospital as an emergency in February 2011 but failed to do so and the consultant had to do the procedure himself the following day.
He also ignored a consultant’s instructions to carry out an internal examination of a patient in case a swab may have been left after surgery and twice refused to see a patient who was suffering from an infection.
It was said in February or March 2011, Dr Imran telephoned a 21-year-old woman, whom he had previously seen in clinic, to ask how she was feeling.
He then sent her text messages and made two further phone calls.
On one occasion he inquired what she was doing at the weekend and asked her to send him her e-mail address.
She complained to the hospital and he was given a formal written warning after a disciplinary hearing, but within days of the warning he contacted a second woman, who he had treated four months earlier.
“She obviously feared the hospital had bad news for her,” said Mr Kitching.
“There was absolutely no reason why the patients should have been contacted.
“In the absence of any other explanation over why he was phoning these patients, the balance of probability is that there was a sexual motive.”
He added that it is alleged Dr Imran was attempting to start relationships with the women which were “nipped in the bud” by their complaints.
If the panel finds the allegations against Dr Imran proved then he could face a range of sanctions up to being struck off the medical register.
The hearing continues.