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Questions raised after doctor who secretly filmed female colleagues at RVH allowed to keep working for two years after conviction

By Allan Preston

Published 27/07/2016

Dr Gareth Menagh
Dr Gareth Menagh
The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast

Questions have been raised as to why a Co Antrim doctor convicted of voyeurism was allowed to keep working for two years after being convicted of the offence.

Dr Gareth Christopher Menagh (33) was struck off earlier this month by a medical tribunal in Manchester.

In 2011 he was discovered to have been secretly filming two female work colleagues who were changing at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Menagh, a Queen's University graduate who has an address in Newtownards, was fined £6,000 after his conviction in 2014.

Before his court date he had been allowed to continue working in the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, under strict conditions set by the General Medical Council.

It's understood he had been working as a locum doctor for a health trust in Shropshire since February. He had also set up his own Lancashire-registered company, GCM Locums Ltd in 2013.

Dr Menagh has since disclosed the offences to his employers at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital and an NHS Trust risk assessment has been completed.

The trust's medical director, Dr Edwin Borman, said: "I've met with Dr Menagh and discussed with him the implications of the GMC hearing, which means that he cannot work as a doctor. The trust already has taken action to put this ruling into effect."

But many have been left astounded that he was allowed to continue working in the first place. Speaking to the Shropshire Star, David Sandbach, a former chief executive of the Princess Royal Hospital said: "The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was reckless to employ a known sex criminal as a locum doctor because of a medical staffing crisis. Anybody who will employ a known sex offender as a doctor must want their heads testing. It really is ridiculous."

Dr Andy Inglis, a GP working in Sutton Hill added: "It's a very valid concern raised by David as a member of the public.

"I would suggest we seek, in writing, an explanation from HR at the hospital as to the processes. We should also seek assurances for the future."

At the General Medical Council tribunal in Manchester this month, the hearing was held in private to protect the identities of the victims. It's reported he had initially told police he didn't know the phone was recording and had left it after getting changed himself.

The tribunal's report said that Mr Menagh had shown a "serious lack of judgment" and that his ability to practice had been impaired by his conviction.

It continued: "The tribunal determined that your actions have brought the profession into disrepute, and that your conviction seriously undermines public confidence in the medical profession. You failed to treat colleagues with dignity and respect, and caused distress and upset to them. It is satisfied that a finding of impairment is required on public interest grounds."

Mr Menagh now has 28 days to appeal the ruling.

Belfast Telegraph

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