Doctor ‘put his patients at risk’

10:33am Friday 26th April 2013

AN anaesthetist who “slept” in a chair while his patient was giving birth can continue to practise, a tribunal has ruled.

Dr Rajat Subhra Banerjee was accused of a catalogue of misconduct charges at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester.

But the panel opted not to restrict him from practising in his current position at Fairfield Hospital as his previous misconduct had been “remedied”.

While emp-loyed by the Royal Bolton Hospital, Dr Banerjee was accused of “closing his eyes” in a chair while a patient lay on the operating table giving birth.

He was accused of failing to maintain supervision of two patients on another occasion in 2009.

He was said to have failed to take adequate prec-autions when admin-istering medication to a patient being treated for muscular paralysis on another occasion.

Further allegations stemmed from his employment at Whiston Hospital in St Helens in 2006 when he failed to attend a number of courses he was booked on and did not go to work.

Dr Banerjee’s conduct had also been questioned while working at Whiston as he left a patient he had anaesthetised to get a glass of water.

The patient started to vomit but suffered no long-term harm.

During the hearing, the doctor claimed to have been a victim of bullying and racial discrimination during his employment at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust.

The doctor had worked at a number of hospitals, including Stepping Hill and Mid Staffordshire, before joining Royal Bolton Hospital. He now works at Fairfield Hospital.

Chairman of the panel Dr Malcolm Phil-lips said: “The panel does not consider that your conduct fell just below the threshold for a finding of impaired fitness to practise; it considers that it fell some way below that threshold.

“The panel accepts that warnings should be viewed as a deterrent to remind the doctor that his conduct fell below the required standards.”

The panel found the doctor put patients at “unwarranted risk of harm” between three and eight years ago, but heard there had been no further complaints and Dr Banerjee has since changed his practice.

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