LEYTON: “Incompetent” GP escapes sack — (East London and West Essex Guardian)

SSRI Ed note: Physician on antidepressants adopts careless, cavalier attitude to patient treatment, is found to have competence problems by GMC.

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East London and West Essex Guardian

By Sarah Cosgrove

A DOCTOR who prescribed the wrong drugs and performed surgery without qualifications has been stopped from practising without supervision.

The General Medical Council (GMC) made the ruling after “widespread deficiencies” were identified in his clinical practice.

Dr Arun Kuman Rauniar, a GP at Vicarage Road Medical Centre Leyton, since June 2003 was found to have dangerously prescribed the wrong drugs.He performed “inappropriate” surgery, including circumcision, at the Leyton surgery, falsely claiming to be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

He failed to assess and examine patients properly, held out-of date emergency drugs and did not consider it his job to deal with mental health issues.

A fitness to practice panel hearing told Dr Rauniar: “You lack insight into the risks to patients and, in general, you do not accept the advice of your peers.

“You are felt to have no insight into your low levels of competence.”

They added: “You consider that your experience allows you to ignore some prescribing guidelines.”

The GMC panel, sitting in Manchester in November and December last year and from April 23 to 26, also said Dr Rauniar had poor communication skills and “appeared to get angry and shout a lot”.

He was also disciplined for using doctors trained outside the EU, who were not yet listed on the UK’s medical register, to summarise medical notes.

In a series of competence tests, Dr Rauniar scored 56.5 per cent in knowledge, when the minimum standard required is 68.5 per cent; 54 per cent in observed clinical examinations, against a minimum of 70 per cent; and only 20.75 per cent in the simulated surgery test, against a minimum of 50 per cent.

Speaking for the GMC Craig Sephton QC said Dr Rauniar’s fitness to practice was impaired and he should be struck off.

But in his defence Angus Moon QC said the panel’s report was “fundamentally flawed” and the doctor’s assesment was “not conducted in a fair and balanced way”.

Mr Moon suggested assessors had a racial bias, and said they did not take into account that Dr Rauniar did not speak English as a first language and was on anti-depressants.

But the panel said that the assessment was fair and ruled that Dr Rauniar can not now practise without supervision for two years, and has to undergo comprehensive retraining.