Scots NHS doctor admits claiming sick pay while working at private clinics

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A SCOTS NHS doctor has admitted pulling sickies to work in private clinics – while also receiving sick pay.

Dr Simon Thomas, a Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon at NHS Tayside, admitted to undertaking clinics at two BMI private hospitals while working for the NHS.

He had also been placed under practicing restrictions by NHS Tayside after a local adverse event review however he continued to perform surgeries.

Scots NHS doctor admits to pulling sickies to work in private clinics - Scottish News
Pictured: Dr Thomas

Dr Thomas is now being investigated by The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service [MPTS] for his actions in April of 2019 and for failing to inform the NHS about his private clinics.

Operational Medical Director for NHS Tayside, Professor Colin Fleming, held a meeting with Dr Thomas after becoming suspicious of his whereabouts.

Professor Fleming described him as having a “swift pinking of his cheeks” when questioned.

Dr Thomas had told Professor Fleming that he would be unable to meet with him on one occasion as he had to pick up a family member.

However, Professor Fleming was then made aware that Dr Thomas had been at BMI Fernbrae in Dundee performing private clinics that day.

Scots NHS doctor admits to pulling sickies to work in private clinics - Scottish News
Pictured: Perth Royal Infirmary where Dr Thomas was an NHS employee

Speaking to the tribunal yesterday, Professor Fleming said: “There had been an attempt to mislead me.

“I challenged him with additional information on his actual whereabouts and his explanations were muddled.

“There was a swift pinking of his cheeks and a lack of fluency in his voice.”

Dr Thomas has admitted all charges brought against him which read: “You failed to notify NHS Tayside that you also practised privately at BMI Kings Park Hospital and BMI Fernbrae Hospital.

“You carried out clinics at Kings Park whilst you were on paid sick leave from NHS Tayside on 4 April 2019, 10 April 2019, 17 April 2019 and 18 April 2019.

“You knew that on one or more of the dates set out…you should not have been working at Kings Park as you were on paid sick leave from NHS Tayside.

Scots NHS doctor admits to pulling sickies to work in private clinics - Scottish News
Pictured: BMI Fernbrae Hospital in Dundee

“And that by reason of the matters set out above your fitness to practise is impaired because of your misconduct.”

Other charges include Dr Thomas misleading Professor Fleming and his failure to comply with practice restrictions imposed by NHS Tayside.

All of which have been proven by an admission of guilt.

Speaking today at the tribunal Dr Thomas said: “I feel horrible about it – and I feel full of guilt and regret.”

Dr Thomas has expertise in elective upper limb surgery and complex upper limb trauma as well as general limb trauma.

He performs approximately 200 medical reports every year.

According to the NHS careers site, consultants can expect to earn a salary of £82,000 and up to £110,000 depending on the length of their service.

The hearing continues.