A SCOTS NHS doctor who admitted to pulling sickies to work in private clinics has been suspended.
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.
Due to his actions, Dr Thomas has been suspended from the profession for 12 months and after which will undergo a review hearing.
In order to be allowed to continue to work as a surgeon, he will have to show how his fitness to practise is no longer impaired.
Dr Thomas was brought under investigation 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.
Speaking to the tribunal, 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.”
In his final submissions, Dr Thomas’ legal representative, Duncan Mawby, said that Mr Thomas had felt a significant degree of remorse and shame, regretted his actions and was working out a way to apologise to those who had been negatively impacted by his actions.
Mr Mawby also managed to convince the panel that complete erasure would deprive the NHS and its patients of his surgical skills.
The panel ultimately decided that action must be taken to maintain the public confidence in the profession and decided on a suspension order of 12 months.
Speaking at the tribunal Dr Thomas said: “I feel horrible about it – and I feel full of guilt and regret.”
Dr Thomas 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.
Dr Thomas has expertise in elective upper limb surgery and complex upper limb trauma as well as general limb trauma.
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.