DAUK writes to GMC with concerns over how two doctors of different ethnicities were treated after both were found to have made false claims over examining a patient.
Dr Nithya Pandian recorded her assessment of a patient’s heart, breathing and abdomen during a case at Kettering General Hospital, but the GMC’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel found it was “more likely than not” that she had not physically assessed the patient. The woman, who was also a nurse and midwife, complained to the GMC after the incident in May 2019. She had noticed Dr Pandian’s written findings when she was seen by a consultant a few minutes later and registered a complaint with the GMC in November 2020.
The panel found Dr Pandian guilty of serious misconduct, because she would not have known if there was something seriously wrong with the patient.
i reported that the GMC said it was confident it was an “isolated episode that happened on one day” but the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) said another doctor who was also accused of lying about examinations in the same case was not taken to a tribunal.
Its reported that the letter said:
“Dr Pandian’s actions appear to have been an isolated incident without significant risk of repetition. The tribunal could have given greater weight to the positive testimonials, CPD [continuous, professional development] courses and other evidence that indicated the high standards Dr Pandian maintains in her practice.
“Of equal concern is that the information available suggests that a consultant, Dr C, was described within the tribunal as having not examined the patient in question, but does not appear to have faced any sanction or scrutiny. This raises potential concerns around differential treatment and the possibility of discriminatory decision making in this case.
“While we recognise that many factors will have contributed to the GMC’s decision to pursue action against Dr Pandian and not Dr C, it is important that medical regulation is seen to be fair, just and non-discriminatory.”
A GMC spokesperson said:
“We are carrying out work across the GMC to promote fairness in our processes, and across the UK health system. We recently carried out a regulatory fairness review, which assessed how effectively we look for the risk of bias in our own systems, and how we can embed better controls to prevent biased thinking. We are already implementing many of the review’s recommendations, and we have made firm commitments to act on the others.”
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