Scots GP hid drink driving conviction from medical watchdogs

Doctors are required to tell the GMC about any criminal convictions under strict rules of practice.

A SCOTS GP has admitted breaking strict rules of practice by hiding his drink driving conviction from medical watchdogs.

Lanarkshire doctor Brian Christopher O’Neill was convicted of drink driving in September 2011 and given a community payback order as well as being banned from the roads for up to two years.

But he did not inform the General Medical Council (GMC) about the conviction, which he was obligated to do under doctors’ rules of practice.

He also admitted inappropriately prescribing a powerful antidepressant drug to patients who were depressed.

The GP has admitted 18 of 37 charges against him at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing in Manchester, which began this week.

Dr O’Neill qualified in 1985 from Glasgow University, though is currently suspended.

He could be struck off or disciplined if the MPTS panel finds he has committed serious misconduct.

He admitted a charge which read: “On 20 September 2011 at Airdrie Sheriff Court you were convicted of driving a motor vehicle with excess alcohol.”

Another charge admitted said he was given a community payback order by the court and “a driving disqualification for a period of two years – to be reduced by six months if you complete an approved rehabilitation course.”

He also admitted a charge saying he: “Failed to inform the GMC about [the conviction and sentencing], in accordance with your professional obligation.”

Doctors are required to tell the GMC about any criminal convictions under strict rules of practice.

Other charges said he “inappropriately prescribed Agomelatine (Valdoxon)” to six patients who suffered from depression.

He did not carry out the appropriate liver function tests or keep patient notes, he admitted.

The doctor did not admit charges relating to a patient referred to as “Patient A”, who he is said to have treated on two occaisions for a respiratory tract infection.

He is said to have failed to carry out an appropriate examination in relation and to have inappropriately prescribed medication.

Dr O’Brian also did not admit charges he failed to conduct an examination of a woman who complained of pain in her breast on up to five occasions.

Some of the charges were not revealed publicly, and an application had been made to have parts of the hearing held in private for reasons relating to the doctor’s health.

Dr O’Brian is attending the hearing and represented by law firm RadcliffesLeBraseur.

The hearing, chaired by David Kyle, continues.