The organisation that regulates doctors across the UK has withdrawn a number of charges facing a medic who has been reviewing patients caught up in the neurology recall scandal.
Neurologist Dr Hany El-Naggar was appointed by the Belfast Health Trust to review former patients of Dr Michael Watt.
It subsequently emerged Dr El-Naggar was himself under investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC) in relation to a number of allegations dating back to 2016 when he was working at a hospital in Nottingham.
The GMC last night said it has withdrawn a number of charges, including the allegation that he “inappropriately disagreed with a radiologist’s findings that a scan showed a hyperdense left middle cerebral artery (HMCA)”, that he “overruled the opinion of the radiologist” and that he “arranged for it to be relayed” to a patient and their family that “thrombolysis is not recommended”.
It has also withdrawn an allegation that Dr El-Naggar “failed to attempt to resolve” the disagreement about the scan in that he did not try to discuss his differing findings with the on-call registrar doctors or discuss the possibility of the patient undergoing a CT scan.
A fitness to practise panel is due to examine a number of remaining charges next month, including that he did not identify that a scan showed a HMCA as a sign of stroke and that he “inappropriately withheld clinically indicated thrombolysis treatment” on July 23 and 24.
Thrombolysis is a clot-busting treatment given to people who have suffered an ischaemic stroke. They are the most common type of stroke and happen when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
Thrombolysis helps to break down the clot and reduce the damage caused to the brain.
The Belfast Trust has previously said the ongoing fitness to practise probe into Dr El-Naggar’s work does not impact on the work he is carrying out in relation to the neurology recall.
It has said that patient safety remains its highest priority.
Dr El-Naggar specialises in epilepsy research and is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, according to his Twitter account.
He is one of a number of locum doctors appointed by the Belfast Trust to examine former patients of Dr Watt.