A WEARSIDE doctor who left hospitals short-staffed by dishonestly claiming he had to rush home to Nigeria to deal with a family crisis has been allowed to return to work.
Dr Martins Olusola Olasehinde-Williams tried to wriggle out of contracts at Sunderland Hospital, as well as Kettering General Hospital, in favour of new offers of work.
The Nigerian-trained locum doctor would tell bosses that he had to leave for Africa urgently, meaning the hospitals had to pay out large sums for temporary staff cover his workload.
In fact, he had taken up other jobs within the UK, the General Medical Council heard.
The doctor lied again to the misconduct panel investigating his behaviour, which suspended him for a year for his “reprehensible conduct” at a hearing last November.
But a review hearing has allowed Dr Olasehinde-Williams to return to work after ruling that he had learned his lesson.
Panel chairman Sheleen McCormack said: “Allowing you to return to unrestricted practice would not place patients at risk and would not damage public confidence in the profession.
“Confidence will have been maintained by the direction of the previous panel suspending your registration for the maximum period of 12 months.
“The direction will have sent a signal to the public and the profession that dishonesty will not be tolerated.”
Dr Olasehinde-Williams, who qualified in 2000 from the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, had been working as a locum doctor through the Medicinia medical agency.
He took up a post as a senior house officer in orthopaedics and trauma at Kettering General Hospital in May 2009, and agreed to work until August 4.
On June 19, he told agency bosses that he had fly to Nigeria in two days’ time to resolve a family matter and would resume his post at the hospital on his return two weeks later.
In fact, the doctor had accepted another locum post at Sunderland Hospital, and started work there on June 22.
Two days after starting the new job, he emailed Medicinia agency, claiming he was arranging a family visa which could take a couple of weeks and would be in touch on his return to the UK.
Several more messages were sent to the agency, indicating the doctor was still abroad and might not be back until August.
He finally called the agency on July 7, claiming he had just got back into the country, and agreed to complete the rest of his contract at Kettering Hospital from July 13.
But on July 10, he sent a final email, saying he would not be returning to the job as agreed and had accepted a job in London.
The doctor also lied to his bosses at Sunderland Hospital, where he had agreed to work until the beginning of August 2009, and again claimed he had to leave suddenly for Nigeria in early July.
He refused to complete the agreed contract, despite protestations from the hospital and instead began a new locum post at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent.
Dr Olasehinde-Williams will remain suspended until the current order runs out on December 15, after which he will be able to take up work in the UK again.