Doctor accused of leaving patients’ notes in kitchen
Published 06/01/2009 | 09:47
A doctor left confidential patient records in the kitchen at his shared flat, a hearing was told yesterday.
Dr Junaid Tipu’s notes were found by a cleaner in the staff accomodation block at Northern Ireland’s Mid-Ulster Hospital and handed to his bosses, the General Medical Council heard.
Dr Tipu also deserted his post at the hospital to fly home to Pakistan in February 2008 and did not return for nearly three months, it was claimed.
He denies the allegations, which are being heard by an Investigation Committee of the GMC.
Michael Williams, for the GMC, said the confidential patient notes had been discovered in the shared kitchen in staff accommodation at the Mid-Ulster Hospital in 2007.
He said: “Dr Tipu was doing an audit on notes with a colleague that would form the basis for his portfolio.
He has said that after the discussion, his colleague agreed to return the notes to the medical records department, and Dr Tipu therefore left them in the kitchen.
“When his colleague later returned, the notes had disappeared, and as the only people with access to the kitchen were domestic staff, it is believed one of them had picked up the notes.”
‘He did not report for duty at the hospital for that rotation and ceased to respond to any attempts to contact him’
He said that Dr Tipu had initially telephoned bosses to say he would return at the start of March, but did not in fact fly back until May.
He said: “The human resources department was told that Dr Tipu was officially on unpaid leave and not annual leave that he had been initially granted for the beginning of the trip. His brother later called to say Dr Tipu would be returning at the beginning of April.
“But his rotation at Mid-Ulster Hospital stopped on April 1, and his next, a psychiatry rotation, was due to start immediately after at Holywell Hospital in Antrim.
“But he did not report for duty at the hospital for that rotation and ceased to respond to any attempts to contact him.
“In a letter sent to his last known address, the hospital trust said that unless he had returned to duty by May 6, it would be considered that he had resigned. He finally returned on May 12, by which time his employment had been terminated.”
In a letter to the GMC, Dr Tipu claimed that he had been granted open leave with no return date allocated. He said he had had no access to email in Pakistan and could infrequently get a signal on his mobile phone to stay in contact.
Dr Tipu denies allegations that he left a set of patient notes in his hospital accommodation where they were found by non-medical staff, and failed to attend for work to take up a post.
The hearing continues.