South Tyneside and Sunderland hospital trust consultant who punched man avoids punishment

An “unblemished” hospital consultant who admitted punching a man after he was gripped in a headlock has avoided punishment at a disciplinary tribunal.

Doctor Naweed Sattar is a consultant at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
Doctor Naweed Sattar is a consultant at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

Accusations that he held a knife to a woman’s neck in an “intimidating or threatening way” in a separate incident three days earlier were found unproven at the same hearing.

Dr Naweed Sattar, who works in stroke medicine and neuro rehabilitation for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, was initially charged with three counts of assault after police investigated the two complaints.

“No evidence was offered by the CPS and no convictions resulted,” the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing was told.

The General Medical Council (GMC) launched its own investigation with the tribunal held in private to decide if Dr Sattar’s behaviour constituted misconduct.

A redacted summary of the case has now been published.

The summary reveals how Dr Sattar was involved in a row with another man, identified in the summary as Mr C, in the hallway of a house on August 27, 2017.

In a statement to the GMC, Dr Sattar said: “I managed to get out of the headlock but he had hold of my clothes with his right hand and was not letting go and so I punched him twice on the left side of his face.

“They were not heavy punches and my aim was just to shock him into letting me go.”

The tribunal concluded: “In light of these particular circumstances, the tribunal did not find that Dr Sattar’s conduct was dishonourable or disgraceful.”

The hearing was also told about a “heated argument” between Dr Sattar and a woman, identified as Ms A, on August 24, 2017, in which she claimed he held a butter knife beneath her chin.

This allegation was found unproven after he insisted “he at no point brandished or wielded the knife threateningly” and that Ms A followed him to continue the argument.

“The tribunal did not accept that these were the actions of a person who just been threatened,” said the summary.

The hearing also considered testimonials from “colleagues, relatives, friends and acquaintances” which “portrayed a supportive, non-confrontational individual who was amicable and displayed self-control in challenging situations”.

Tribunal members did, however, conclude that Dr Sattar’s failure to inform the GMC for four months about the assault charges was a breach of “professional obligations” and amounted to misconduct.

But they decided that “the ‘one-off nature’ of this misconduct, in the context of an otherwise lengthy and unblemished career”, did not impair his fitness to practise or warrant a formal warning.

At the time of the incidents, Dr Sattar was was working in stroke and rehabilitative medicine for City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, which is now part of the recently-formed South Tyneside and Sunderland trust.

The new trust’s medical director, Dr Shaz Wahid, said: “We note the findings of the tribunal, which resulted in no sanctions being required and found no concerns with Dr Sattar’s clinical practice.”