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Medical Council

Doctor who falsified records to blame midwife for stillbirth charged with professional misconduct

The doctor is suspended from practising in the Republic of Ireland.

A DOCTOR WHO is suspended from practising in the Republic of Ireland after misleading the Medical Council that there had been no problem with his work at two Irish hospitals has been charged with professional misconduct.

Dr Aamir Malik, a specialist doctor in obstetrics and gynaecology who previously worked at Kerry University Hospital and Cavan General Hospital, was the subject of a hearing of the council’s Fitness to Practise committee in Dublin yesterday.

The doctor faced three allegations of professional misconduct in relation to his treatment of a patient at Pinderfields General Hospital in Wakefield in the UK five years ago.

The committee heard evidence that Malik had falsified records in December 2015 concerning his dealings with a pregnant woman whose baby was delivered stillborn.

It heard he had retrospectively changed the woman’s medical notes to try and transfer the blame to a midwife for what happened to the patient and to suggest he had recommended the baby’s heartbeat should be monitored at more regular intervals which was untrue.

A midwife at the hospital, Karen Lloyd, told the hearing that the doctor had been “dismissive” of her concerns about the patient and her baby.

Malik’s retrospective changes to the woman’s medical records were only discovered as the midwife had taken a photocopy of the original notes.

An expert witness,and Master of the Coombe Hospital, Professor Michael O’Connell said the change in notes which indicated Malik had recommended the patient be checked every 30 minutes instead of every 2-3 hours was “significant”.

The hearing was told that Malik subsequently failed to inform a hospital in Barnsley where he worked the following month about an “exclusion letter” issued by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust in December 2015 which had relieved him of his duties at the hospital in Wakefield and banned him from working in any of the trust’s hospitals.

The Medical Council claims that Malik had “acted in a manner which was dishonest” through such behaviour.

In May, the High Court approved the suspension of Malik after hearing he had informed the Medical Council in May 2018 that there had been no problem with his work in the Republic when his employment had actually been terminated by the two hospitals in Tralee and Cavan in the previous 12 months.

The May 2018 hearing was being held by the Medical Council to consider a decision of the UK medical authorities to strike off Malik following an inquiry into the same complaints about his conduct in Yorkshire hospitals..

The Medical Council is obliged to conduct its own fitness to practise hearing as it cannot rely on the findings of a similar body in another jurisdiction.

Kerry University Hospital, where Malik worked between October 2017 and April 2018, terminated his employment after his alleged failure to answer calls to attend urgent deliveries to infants in distress.

He had also been questioned by a review group in October 2017 over an incident at Cavan General Hospital involving one of his patients.

Malik, who qualified as a doctor in Pakistan in 1989, had been registered to practise in Ireland since 2002.

The consultant, whose registered address is in Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, did not attend Wednesday’s hearing and was not legally represented.

Although Malik had engaged with the preliminary proceedings, the committee heard that he had not responded to numerous attempts to contact him by e-mail, telephone and post in the past year.

Counsel for the Medical Council, Nessa Bird BL, said family members at Malik’s registered address had refused to accept service of documents.

The FTP committee is expected to announce its findings on Thursday.

The Medical Council has recommended that, if the allegations are proven, Malik should have his registration in Ireland cancelled.

Seán McCárthaigh