Glasgow doctor secures her medical license after being struck off by the tribunal
Image by Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd.
A Glasgow doctor who was dismissed for taking a nap during a busy shift at the A&E ward and stripped off her license, has received it back.
33-year-old Dr Raisah Sawati was found asleep on a bench and wrapped in a blanket by a nurse at the Fairfield Hospital in Greater Manchester after she was reported missing from carrying out her duties.
At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) last year, the Scots woman’s career in medicine abruptly came to an end after she was found guilty of misconduct, dishonesty and deficient professional performance.
However, according to the Daily Record, the MPTS has performed a U-turn on its ruling after a High Court judge quashed the decision. Instead, at a new tribunal, the MPTS ruled Dr Sawati is to be suspended for six months.
Misconduct concerns arose after it became clear that Dr Sawati had misled patients and staff in four different training placements after she graduated in medicine back in 2012 in Manchester.
During one placement at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury in 2017, she falsely claimed a colleague had agreed to swap shifts with her so she could take time off and claimed to have been the lead A&E doctor treating the seriously ill infant in a resuscitation room when in fact she had only provided a ”supporting role.”
At Alexandra Practice in Manchester, Lancashire, in January 2014, it was heard she failed to discuss symptoms with a patient who later died, and then amended medical records to claim she did discuss them. And while working at Manchester Royal Infirmary in January 2015 she was found lying on a bed with lights off after asking to leave a main theatre block.
At the High Court, Justice Rowena Collins Rice ruled the tribunal that struck Dr Sawati off had unfairly used her “rejected defences to the allegations of dishonesty as grounds for aggravating sanction”. She ruled this impeded her right to defend herself in the tribunal.
In her ruling, Judge Collins said, “The challenge to the decision to erase Dr Sawati from the register raises an issue which has regularly engaged the appellate courts in recent years; how a professional can have a fair chance before a Tribunal to resist allegations, particularly of dishonesty, without finding the resistance itself unfairly counting against them if they are unsuccessful.
Where a doctor unsuccessfully defends a dishonesty allegation, they are at risk of being found for that reason not to have told the Tribunal ‘the truth’ (about being dishonest) and therefore to be compounding the dishonesty – a predicament labelled before now as ‘Kafkaesque’.
The tribunal seems to have relied disproportionately and without analysis on her rejected defences to infer both failure of insight and tertiary dishonesty (‘not telling the truth in the hearing’). These are in my view serious failures… I am not satisfied that Dr Sawati was treated fairly in this respect.” Justice Collins Rice revoked the tribunal’s sanction of a striking off order against Dr Sawati and at the latest tribunal, she was suspended for six months instead.