Leeds doctor's work ban extended

A former Leeds hospital doctor has been barred from working for another 12 months after being suspended for writing prescriptions for patients not entitled to NHS treatment.

Mohamed Ahmed Adel Hussein Elmasry, who worked as a specialist registrar in trauma and orthopaedics at St James's Hospital, was suspended from the medical register for 12 months following a hearing last December (2009].

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Now the doctor has been suspended for a further year after another hearing before the General Medical Council (GMC) in London.

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At the original hearing, Dr Elmasry was found to have submitted an NHS prescription for a relative and later the same day submitted another to a different hospital pharmacy, telling the pharmacist it was for his father.

The GMC panel found he had not said the patients were not entitled to NHS prescriptions and failed to pay for both.

The hearing was told that during an internal investigation into his conduct, Dr Elmasry gave inconsistent accounts as to whom the medication was for. His fitness to practise was found to be impaired because of dishonesty and his registration was suspended for a year.

Dr Elmasry was neither present nor represented at the most recent hearing.

The panel, which was reviewing his suspension, decided his fitness to practise remained impaired.

They said they had not received any evidence that Dr Elmasry, now said to be assistant director of a Learning Resource Centre in Cairo, had insight into his actions and were not reassured there would be no

repetition of his dishonest conduct.

One testimonial was received which said Dr Elmasry was honest, but it did not indicate that the author had read the minutes of the last Fitness to Practise hearing or was aware of the extent of the case.

"The panel has taken all these matters into account and has determined that Dr Elmasry has shown no evidence that he has gained insight, nor that he has shown any improvement in his situation during his period of suspension," a report of the hearing said.

They decided to suspend his registration for a further 12 months.

"This panel remains concerned at Dr Elmasry's lack of engagement with the previous panel's expectations, and the paucity of evidence that he has provided," they added.

"The panel wishes to make it clear to Dr Elmasry that the next review panel will have at its disposal the full range of sanctions including that of erasure from the medical register."

Following the latest case, a spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: "NHS fraud of any description is totally unacceptable and the trust has robust procedures in place to identify it and take action against any perpetrator."