Doctor accused of falling asleep offers defence

A doctor alleged to have fallen asleep during a consultation with a patient at a Liverpool hospital has spoken for the first time to defend his position.

Maged Shendy faces a number of charges in relation to his conduct while working as a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at Liverpool Women’s Hospital between 2018 and 2019. Among the allegations put to Mr Shendy, who resigned from the specialist hospital in 2020 following a misconduct hearing, was that he failed to obtain informed consent from a woman known as patient E.

Giving evidence to a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing on Friday afternoon, Mr Shendy said this could not have been the case as he did not match the physical description given by the patient of having short hair, owing to him balding “since 2009”.

During her evidence on 20 February, Patient E said at an appointment in July 2019 Mr Shendy did not introduce himself prior but she had received a letter from Liverpool Women’s Hospital Trust indicating her session was with him. The woman said she did not sign anything before or after the procedure. 

It was said patient E had given a physical description of the consultant she saw as having “brown skin” and was around 5’10 and had close-cropped hair with a moustache. Mr Shendy said he is 5’7 and has a “Mediterranean complexion.”

The consultant, now registered as a locum consultant at Scunthorpe General Hospital, said, “I’ve never had a moustache in my life, only stubble since 2014, I changed it with my birthday in that year.” He also said he did not meet the description of close-cropped hair as he had been balding for the past 15 years.

In relation to evidence given by a woman known as patient F, it was alleged Mr Shendy had not actually performed a physical examination in relation to a possible vaginal prolapse, despite writing to her GP indicating otherwise. In her evidence last month, the woman said she felt the consultant had come to this conclusion “by guessing”.

Mr Shendy said he “totally disagreed” there had not been an exam and he could not have reached the conclusion there had been no prolapse without carrying out a procedure. Put to him by General Medical Council advocate Sarah Barlow that he had made a “50/50 guess,” he said, “It is impossible and not plausible, I don’t think any gynaecologist would ever do it.”

It is alleged that on 4 September 2019, a woman referred to as patient G, attended a preoperative consultation with Mr Shendy and a female doctor who was in training. Patient G said Dr Shendy had been “lounging a bit” in his chair during the 20-minute appointment, with his arms crossed and head back, “as you do if you nod off.”

Patient G said she saw Dr Shendy asleep for about five minutes, from which he was “shook awake” by his own snoring. Ghazan Mahmood, acting on behalf of Dr Shendy, said his client’s position was that given he suffers from hearing loss, he had not fallen asleep but had simply tried to concentrate.

The hearing will hear closing statements on Monday ahead of an expected decision later that week.

Image: Maged Shendy (Facebook)

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