Former Chesterfield Royal Hospital doctor suspended for four months after tribunal finds him 'dishonest'

Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

A former Chesterfield Royal Hospital doctor who has been found to be 'dishonest' following a tribunal has been suspended for four months.

At a Medical Practitioners Tribunal held in Manchester this week, Dr Stephen Macshane, a former associate specialist in emergency medicine at the hospital, was found to have made 'untrue' oral and written statements concerning the identification of a patient's body.

Dr Macshane was found to have 'lied repeatedly to colleagues' about attending the mortuary with the patient's wife to identify her husband's body.

The General Medical Council described Dr Macshane's motive as 'benevolent' because it was 'to spare the patient's widow from having to view the body'.

Dr Macshane later acknowledged his mistake and dishonesty and apologised to his head of department.

The tribunal found that Dr Macshane's 'fitness to practise medicine is impaired by reason of misconduct' and today immediately suspended his registration for four months.

A review hearing will be held before the suspension expires.

Chair of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal, Angus Macpherson, said: "The tribunal bore in mind the fact that Dr Macshane has not provided to this hearing any evidence or submissions concerning the matters in issue, which would have served to reassure it as to his current insight and reflection. He did not attend.

"The tribunal considered that it was appropriate to order a review of the four month suspension order in order for Dr Macshane to provide to the reviewing tribunal material
concerning his professional practice and continuing reflection.

"In these circumstances, the tribunal concluded that an immediate order was in the public interest."

Dr Macshane was on duty on June 19, 2017, when a patient was brought into the Emergency Department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital having suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest.

The patient died in hospital whilst under the care of Dr Macshane and his body was transferred to the mortuary.

The patient's wife attended the hospital and spoke to Dr Macshane.

Documentation was sent to the coroner concerning his death which the coroner found 'confusing' because it contained two different dates of birth. The coroner had concerns as to whether the deceased patient had been correctly identified.

After hearing all the evidence, the tribunal concluded that Dr Macshane had not attended the mortuary with 'Patient A’s' wife to identify 'Patient A’s' body and 'Patient A’s' wife had not identified 'Patient A’s' body.

The tribunal report states: "The tribunal finds that by the objective standard which it must apply, Dr Macshane was dishonest on these occasions."

Dr Macshane did not attend the hearing and was not represented.

In a letter sent to the General Medical Council on April 26, 2019, Dr Macshane said: "I will not be attending as I have retired from medical practice for numerous reasons.

"I have no desire to ever revisit medicine in any way shape or form. I would be grateful if you could stop informing of these actions.

"I have no interest in them or their outcome. As far as I concerned the issue is closed and I regret ever having decided to serve the people of Chesterfield or its trust."

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hears cases against doctors where serious concerns have been raised and as a result their fitness to practise has been called into question by the General Medical Council.