Consultant at West Suffolk Hospital suspended from work for driving offences

West Suffolk Hospital
West Suffolk Hospital
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A doctor at West Suffolk Hospital has been suspended from work for three months after being convicted of two driving offences in the space of four years.

Dr James Allan, a consultant urologist, was suspended from the medical register by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) after he was convicted of drink driving in 2013.

He had already accepted a warning from the General Medical Council (GMC) after being convicted in 2009 of failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

The MPTS panel ruled that Dr Allan had ‘brought the profession into disrepute’ and his most recent conviction ‘breached one of the fundamental tenets of the medical profession’.

Bosses at West Suffolk Hospital have also suspended him from his role without pay with his caseload covered by colleagues and locums.

The MPTS hearing, which was between January 21 to 23, was told that Dr Allan was banned from driving for 38 months and fined £1,450 at Norfolk Magistrates’ Court in September 2013 for driving with 58 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The panel noted that Dr Allan had been drinking at a cricket club lunch and decided to drive home but was stopped by police.

He was already subject to a five year warning, issued by the GMC in 2010, after being convicted at West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in October 2009 of failing to provide a specimen for analysis (driving or attempting to drive).

Dr Allan told the panel that since his driving ban he had fulfilled his clinical commitments – cycling 100 to 150 miles a week to attend patients. He said that he would ‘not, at any time get behind the wheel of a car’ when he had had a drop of alcohol.

The panel said: “Your conviction is serious and is aggravated by the fact that you had recently had a previous conviction for which there was still an active warning in place.

“Taking these matters into account together with the concerns it has with regard to your limited insight, the panel has concluded that your conviction for drink driving has brought the profession into disrepute and that you are, in future, liable to bring it into disrepute.”

When asked by the Bury Free Press, Jan Bloomfield, executive director of workforce at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is important to note that the MPTS raised no concerns about the care delivered by Mr Allan or his clinical competence. Mr Allan’s colleagues will cover his caseload, and will draw on additional support from locums where necessary to ensure that patient care is not affected. The salary which Mr Allan would normally receive will go towards covering this cost.”