London - An inexperienced doctor fell asleep on duty and gave patients the wrong medication after being put in charge of a busy A&E department, a misconduct hearing was told.
Tarek Seda, 41, who qualified in Egypt, applied for a job in Britain after struggling with his medical career and was ‘catapulted into a senior role he was never fit for’.
Despite not having sufficient qualifications Dr Seda, who previously worked as a doctor in a hotel for two years, was left as the only senior doctor on duty at an NHS hospital’s emergency department on two consecutive night shifts.
He also did a day shift in between, meaning he worked 36 hours straight. In that time three patients were given the wrong medication or not properly examined, a disciplinary panel heard.
An investigation was launched after colleagues raised concerns, and Dr Seda admitted he should have made it clear he needed more training when he took the job. But the panel did not strike him off the medical register, saying the trust was also at fault for giving him a post he wasn’t up to.
Instead he was suspended from practising medicine in this country for 12 months. He is currently working at a hospital in Oman.
The incidents occurred in June 2017 while Dr Seda was working for the private medical organisation Doctorcall, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard.
The father-of-four had applied for a locum post at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, and was interviewed over Skype. Officials failed to establish his credentials and he got little training or assessment.
He successfully completed 28 shifts despite failing to clarify his experience before being told he would be the only doctor on duty during two night shifts, as well as working the day shift in between.
He wrongly put one patient on an IV drip, gave another the wrong medicine and mistakenly advised another to take paracetamol after failing to examine her properly, the hearing in Manchester was told. Suffering from severe exhaustion, Dr Seda fell asleep during his shifts, telling colleagues he was taking ‘power naps’.
A report compiled by a medical expert said: ‘This doctor has been catapulted into a senior role he was never fit for.
‘His employer never assessed how competent he was and never gave him a proper induction ... but Dr Seda should have made it clear he wasn’t up to this.’
Dr Seda was found guilty of serious professional misconduct and unrelated dishonesty offences and given a 12-month suspension.
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs King’s Mill Hospital, said it had now ‘strengthened our pre-employment checks and induction processes for doctors’.