Cocaine claims medic suspended as probe launched

A CHILDREN’S BRAIN doctor has been suspended from clinical duties following the launch of an investigation into allegations he took illegal drugs before starting work on-call at the Leeds hospital where he is based.

Sunday, 4th January 2015, 1:42 pm
Dr Colin Ferrie a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Leeds General Infirmary

Leeds General Infirmary is probing claims that consultant paediatric neurologist Dr Colin Ferrie snorted cocaine and had several doses of GHB - known as a ‘date rape drug’ - ahead of the start of his shift.

Revelations in a Sunday newspaper showed stills of video footage with a man, alleged to be Dr Ferrie, taking drugs in a two-hour session with an acquaintance on December 17.

The report went on to claim that, when contacted just over an hour later, a member of staff at LGI confirmed he was on-call.

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Patient Concern, one of England’s leading campaign groups, said families would be ‘horrified’ at the idea a doctor could have been taking mind-altering substances before making life-or-death decisions over the care of young patients with conditions such as epilepsy.

Co-director Joyce Robins said: “You can’t have somebody taking things like that making life-or-death decisions.”

If the allegations are upheld, the married father-of-one faces disciplinary action for breaching trust policy on substance misuse and misconduct proceedings from the General Medical Council.

When contacted by the Yorkshire Evening Post over allegations regarding Dr Ferrie, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust released a statement confirming an investigation is underway, and confirmed that a 51-year-old will not be carrying out clinical duties until it has concluded.

A spokesman said: “We take any allegations of this nature extremely seriously.

“Patient safety is our main priority and we expect all members of staff to behave in a professional and appropriate manner at all times. It is the trust’s policy when investigating allegations of this nature that staff involved do not carry out clinical duties during the investigation.”