An agency doctor previously jailed for lying about his qualifications was allowed to work at Blackpool Victoria Hospital – where he carried out an ‘unnecessary’ procedure on a sick pensioner.
Dr Adil Razoq, who had been sentenced to two years in prison for his dishonesty, was criticised for giving Fleetwood grandmother Doreen Buckley an emergency chest drain nine days before her death.
The medic, who no longer works on the Fylde coast, had misread an x-ray and believed she had a collapsed lung.
A hospital investigation found the x-ray was not reviewed by a more senior doctor at the time it was carreid out, prior to Dr Razoq taking over the night shift, when Mrs Buckley’s condition deteriorated.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust stressed the care and treatment Dr Razoq gave Mrs Buckley did not cause her death.
But daughter Elaine Thomas today said she wants answers about how Dr Razoq, 43, was legally entitled to work in healthcare despite his past.
She said: “My mum’s words were, ‘Don’t let this happen to anybody else. Don’t let it go.”
Mrs Buckley, a retired social worker who had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lived in Borrowdale Avenue, was admitted to hospital last January after suffering from a shortness of breath and later developed chest pains.
She was given a chest x-ray, which showed a ‘possible pneumothorax’ – a collection of trapped air that causes a collapsed lung – and a plan was put in place to wait for an ultrasound scan to be carried out. She was transferred to the Acute Medical Unit and, in the early hours of January 7, ‘became acutely unwell with increasing shortness of breath’, an internal investigation found.
When Dr Razoq, who now lives in the South of England, examined her and reviewed the x-ray, he ‘misinterpreted the findings’, the Serious Untoward Incident (SUI) report said, leading to ‘an unnecessary insertion of a chest drain’.
Dr Razoq was suspended while the hospital launched its probe. It is understood he no longer works there.
He was unable to consult a senior doctor at that time of night and the SUI found the doctor who ordered the x-ray should have had it reviewed sooner.
The report lists ‘lack of consultant doctors onsite after 6pm’ among the factors that contributed to the incident.
Following her mother’s death at Trinity Hospice on January 16, which was caused by the COPD and not the chest drain, Mrs Thomas, of Clarence Street in Lancaster, discovered Dr Razoq was convicted of seven counts of fraud at Ipswich Crown Court in 2011.
He was jailed for two years for the offences, which earned him £99,576 between January 2007 and November 2008 after he lied about his employment history and his medical qualifications. He also failed three times to tell locum agencies he was excluded from Ipswich Hospital.
At a Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service hearing in 2013, he told the panel the trial was ‘shambolic’ and a ‘total miscarriage of justice’.
He later successfully appealed its decision to suspend him for a year, telling the High Court he claimed he worked as a doctor in Syria for a year longer than he did because he feared for his family’s safety if the Syrian regime discovered he had spent the time as an asylum seeker in the UK.
The court also heard a surgical qualification, for which Dr Razoq narrowly failed the exam, was ‘not material’ for the position he had held.
Later that year, a High Court dispute over Dr Razoq’s immigration status heard he claimed asylum in the UK two days after arriving on the back of a lorry from Syria.
He claimed he was part-Kurdish and was arrested in 1999, jailed and tortured after speaking out against the Syrian government before escaping in 2002. The court heard when Dr Razoq was arrested in relation to the fraud charges, police found documents, including a Syrian passport, that had not been disclosed to the Home Office.
He was threatened with deportation and told he had demonstrated he was not, as he claimed, ‘an undocumented and largely uneducated Kurd’ and would not have been granted refugee status ‘but for [his] deception’.
The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases, but it is understood Dr Razoq is now living legally in the UK and has no restrictions on his work.
The General Medical Council (GMC) said he is still a registered doctor, although subject to conditions on his licence, including the need to be supervised.
Mrs Thomas, 55, who is now retired through ill health, said she was ‘appalled’ to discover Dr Razoq’s conviction.
She added:“It’s horrifying that we have this level of doctor practising in the UK. I know we are short of doctors but we should not be accepting this kind.”
Mrs Thomas confronted hospital bosses at a meeting last September, and was promised answers by the end of October, but says she is still waiting.
A Blackpool Victoria hospital spokesman said: “Dr Adil Razoq was employed by an agency and worked as a locum doctor within the trust for one month.
“All relevant information was considered and as Dr Razoq had appropriate registration with the GMC the decision was made to use his services.
“The care and treatment Dr Razoq afforded Mrs Buckley was not causative of her death and this was specifically alluded to by HM Deputy Coroner on the record of Inquest
“Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are carried out by the employing agency in line with trust and NHS requirements.
“The trust is required by the DBS Code of Practice to treat applicants who have a criminal record fairly and not discriminate because of a conviction or other information revealed.
“We sincerely apologise for not sending a follow-up letter to the patient’s family after a feedback meeting between them and members of the trust.
“The action points raised by the family have all been addressed and this will be communicated formally to the family.”