Bereaved Wigan medic’s new disciplinary hearing

Dr Ahmed Tolba was suspended for 12 months by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS)
Dr Ahmed Tolba was suspended for 12 months by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS)

A trainee doctor caught doing a shift at Wigan Infirmary while supposedly on compassionate leave is set to have his case reviewed.

Dr Ahmed Tolba, who worked for the Dicconson Group Practice, was suspended for 12 months by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) last October.

He was given leave to mourn his late father, and travelled out to Egypt for the funeral in early 2015, a fitness to practice hearing heard. Dr Tolba informed bosses that he would not be available for work until March 3.

But one of his patients reported though that he had bumped into the junior medic while he was providing locum cover at the hospital on February 28.

Dr Tolba was investigated and insisted to his GP trainer that he had not been back in the UK, when the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust shift took place.

He was given a six-month written warning over the matter, the MPTS panel was told.

And when asked to complete official forms after failing his Royal College of General Practitioner exams, to check whether there were any conditions on his registration, he failed to declare his reprimand.

Announcing his original suspension, panel chair Dr Liz Ball said: “The tribunal is of the view that your dishonest conduct is remediable.”

The review panel will have the option to extend the ban if they feel he has not taken steps to address his misconduct, or impose conditions on his registration, which could place him under supervision from a superior.

Catherine Stock, representing Dr Tolba at the earlier hearing, said her client was a “hard-working doctor who treats his patients fairly and with respect.”

She tabled a number of testimonials from colleagues to support his case. He made a number of key admissions at the start of the hearing and she said this was “an isolated incident” at a time when he was “under severe stress and financial pressure.”

Ms Stock said the effect of the bereavement should also be taken into consideration.