Farag v General Medical Council [2014] EWHC 523 (Admin)

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The appellant doctor had a severe pollen allergy. He had been prescribed medication for that allergy (the medication). It was common ground that the medication was only available on prescription.

The appellant moved to a new hospital (the hospital) and was either unwilling or unable to take the requisite steps to obtain the medication on prescription in his new area of work. Accordingly, he set about obtaining the medication for himself.

In February 2010, he placed an order with the manufacturers purportedly for a patient, AB. AB was actually a nurse with whom the appellant worked. The order form was signed by the appellant in his own name. The appellant then had the invoice paid by the hospital. In total, the appellant obtained five orders of the medication in that fashion.

After the appellant left the hospital a further invoice was received. The hospital reported the matter to the respondent General Medical Council (GMC) which commenced an investigation. In January 2012, the appellant was notified that fitness to practice proceedings were being brought against him.

Following a hearing, the GMC's fitness to practice panel (the panel) found him guilty of, inter alia, dishonestly procuring medication for himself by completing forms and procuring payment falsely representing that the medication was for the use of a patient.

The appellant appealed.

The appeal would be dismissed.

On the facts, the panel had applied the established test to uncontroversial facts. The form had been false and had given the impression that the order had been for a patient. That had been a lie and it was difficult to conceive of how a doctor could have considered that had not been dishonest. The panel had reached the unavoidable conclusion on the papers and its findings were unassailable.

Reproduced with kind permission of LexisLibrary.