Sunderland doctor was unqualified to carry out intimate examination, tribunal told

editorial image
Have your say

A HOSPITAL doctor alleged to have pulled down a teenager’s trousers to carry out an intimate examination for his sexual gratification was not experienced enough to perform the procedure, a tribunal heard.

Dr Sarfaraz Malik allegedly performed an unnecessary internal examination without asking for consent from his 18-year-old patient.

The terrified young woman stared at the treatment room wall while Dr Malik prodded her and then broke down in tears to a friend, the tribunal has heard.

The distressed woman, known as ‘Patient A’ for legal reasons, told a nurse she had no idea why the doctor had examined her at the Sunderland Royal Hospital, it is claimed.

An investigation was launched after a senior doctor found the patient had a gastric complaint, which required no gynaecological procedure.

Dr Malik, who was working as a junior in A&E at the time of the incident, is facing misconduct charges at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, where the General Medical Council (GMC) allege his conduct was sexually motivated.

The medic admits performing the procedure, but denies that it was sexually motivated or amounted to a failure to provide good care.

Dr Michael O’Hare, an expert witness called on behalf of the General Medical Council, raised doubts over whether Dr Malik had the necessary experience to perform a vaginal examination even if it were necessary.

“Gynaecological examinations can reveal a lot of information in terms of diagnoses. It is important that it is performed skilfully by someone who can obtain the maximum information from that examination,’ he said.

“A doctor at this stage of his career, in an FY2 post, my understanding from his experience is that he had not worked at any point in a post in obstetrics and gynaecology.

“It is therefore very likely that his experience of performing pelvic examinations is very limited, if not nil.”

He added: “I conclude that Dr Malik did not have those skills and did not have that experience.”

The teenager attended the accident and emergency department of Sunderland Royal Hospital in 2010 with a group of friends.

She was first seen by a staff nurse who made routine observations and took blood tests before leaving Patient A dressed in a hospital gown, wearing underwear and jeans underneath, it was said.

Patient A was in a treatment room with one of her friends when Dr Malik attended, the hearing was told.

Giving evidence she said: “He undid my jeans, whinged about the button because it was a difficult button, pulled them down and felt around inside.

“If he had expressed what was going to happen I would have asked for a female,” she continued.

During an internal investigation in December, 2010 Dr Malik admitted he had undertaken a vaginal examination without a chaperone, but said he did it because he was under time pressures, Ms Libby Nicholls, opening the case for the GMC, told the panel.

He was reported to the GMC who claim he did not provide good care to the patient by failing to take an adequate history, performing an internal examination that was not indicated, failing to explain why it was carried out, failing to provide a chaperone and removing her clothing.

The GMC say that Dr Malik’s actions in removing Patient A’s clothes and performing the examination without a chaperone present were ‘sexually motivated’.

The hearing continues.