Monday, March 9, 2015

LONDON: Doctor of many botches struck off

Daily Mail (UK)
February 26 2015

'Callous' NHS child doctor struck off for running sideline mobile circumcision service for cash which left baby boys screaming in agony 

  • Dr Mohammed Siddiqui was NHS paediatrician at Southampton Hospital
  • He ran an unregistered mobile circumcision service for cash as a sideline
  • Siddiqui botched procedures, leaving babies in agony and needing surgery
  • He failed to respect hygiene and had a 'reckless regard' for their safety
  • Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found 69 allegations proved
  • Tribunal ruled Siddiqui should be struck off the medical register
  • But there are fears he could continue to run mobile service because male circumcision is not illegal in the UK, and common in Muslim communities
by Claire Carter

A 'callous and contemptuous' paediatrician who ran an unregistered mobile circumcision service has been struck off after he carried out a string of bungled and unhygienic procedures - including one while a baby boy was screaming in agony because the anaesthetic had worn off.

Dr Mohammed Siddiqui, 49, of Southampton, carried out four botched circumcisions on youngsters at their homes in Southampton, Bath, Birmingham and Reading for parents who wanted to have their children circumcised for religious reasons.

But the NHS doctor failed to wear gloves or carry proper resuscitation equipment, leaving one baby suffering seizures and another in agony when he woke up during the circumcision and Siddiqui decided to carry on anyway.

He has now been struck off the medical register.

Siddiqui's 'mobile clinic' was not registered with the Care Quality Commission and the doctor failed to secure proper insurance for each procedure. He worked at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust at the time he was running the clinic for cash, as a sideline, between June 2012 and November 2013.

He was suspended but carried on carrying out the procedures using a loophole in the law. He has since resigned from the NHS.

Following a three-week hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, 69 separate allegations against Dr Siddiqui were found proved and he was branded a risk to patients, having acted with a 'reckless disregard' for their safety.

Siddiqui performed the procedures on four separate boys.

The families said the medic did not wash his hands prior to the procedures treatment, did not wear surgical gloves, failed to carry out proper examinations and did not have proper resuscitation equipment including oxygen and airway equipment.

He even carried surgical materials in plastic carrier bags and used baby wipes during the procedures.
An investigation began after a complaint by Kelly Braiha and her husband Ghali, from Littlehampton in West Sussex, which claimed their 23-month-old son Najem was left traumatised and suffered an infection because Siddiqui did not take hygienic precautions.

When one boy suffered an adverse reaction to a local anaesthetic, Siddiqui did not realise it was a seizure and failed to act immediately to ensure an ambulance was called.

Instead, when the boy's eyes started rolling back in his head and he began frothing at the mouth, Siddiqui thought the boy was cold and asked the baby's father to wrap him in a blanket and turn the central heating up. The baby was later taken to hospital where suffered two further seizures.

When the parent of a second boy rang the medic to say his son was still in pain, Siddiqui failed to respond and in an email accused him of 'telling lies'.

A third boy - whose parents are themselves both doctors - woke up during the procedure and began screaming in agony but Siddiqui saw 'no point in waiting any longer'.

The hearing was told he kept saying: 'I didn't need to stop because the child was already crying.'

An operation on a further youngster was such a poor standard he had to carry out another circumcision on the same child the following day.

The boy suffered injuries from the operation because too much skin was removed, Siddiqui failed to refer him to a hospital and then ignored his parents when they expressed concerns over his condition, the tribunal had heard.

Circumcision is only available through the NHS if there are compelling medical reasons but healthcare workers still have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission if they want to perform home circumcisions for religious reasons.

However it is feared Siddiqui - despite being struck off - could try to continue to operate his dangerous private mobile clinic because male circumcision is not illegal in Britain. The practice is popular among the Muslim community.

Panel Chairman John Donnelly said Dr Siddiqui had been 'evasive and contradictory' during his evidence and said the medic had treated the GMC with 'contempt.'

He added: 'His misconduct was both a particularly serious departure and reckless disregard of good medical practise and patient safety. Some of his behaviour as previously identified, involved breaches of very basic mandatory medical principles.'

Mr Donnelly said Siddiqui had put one baby's life at risk by failing to deal with the situation properly when a baby suffered a seizure and had caused considerable pain by continuing with the circumcision when one baby woke up crying.

The chairman added: 'He seemed completely indifferent to the fact he had caused pain to this baby and actually said that when babies were already crying he established the effectiveness of the local anaesthetic by beginning the procedure and seeing the reaction.

Siddiqui also failed to obtain adequate histories of each boy he was performed the procedure, it was said, as well as failing to make sure his equipment was aseptic.

Mr Donnelly added 'Mr Siddiqui said he is an experienced, hospital-based paediatric surgeon, yet he made a number of failures in basic hygiene in preparing babies for the circumcision and in preparing himself to perform them. Taken together they amounted to serious failures that must have increased the risk of infection to the very young children upon whom he was operating.

'Given his experience he must have known that the level of hygiene he was applying fell far below the standard expected of a medical practitioner carrying out a surgical procedure in the home and was wrong.'

The Panel said it was also concerned that Siddiqui's attitude showed a significant lack of concern for the wellbeing of the babies and their parents.

It found the only option was for 'erasure', or striking off, from the register.

Mr Donnelly said: “The Panel has concluded that Mr Siddiqui’s behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with continued registration.

It is satisfied that erasure is necessary in order to protect the public, to uphold professional standards and to maintain confidence in the profession.

The panel also found he often showed an arrogance and was reluctant to take advice from senior doctors

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