Doctor cleared of falling asleep at work

A former gynaecologist at Liverpool Women’s Hospital accused of falling asleep on the job has been cleared of all charges.

Maged Shendy faced a series of allegations in relation to his conduct while working as a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at Liverpool Women’s Hospital between 2018 and 2019. Among them including the suggestion Mr Shendy had fallen asleep while in a consultation with one patient.

After a three-week hearing conducted by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), Mr Shendy has been deemed fit to continue to work unhindered.

Ghazan Mahmood, on behalf of Mr Shendy, said the most serious allegations – including an assertion the practitioner fell asleep – were improbable and should be disregarded.

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.  It was said she 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” that 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 was also 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. Mr Mahmood said there were issues with this account as it conflicted with the version of events given by Dr Kat Pavlidi, who was with Mr Shendy at the time of the consultation.

It had been said previously that Mr Shendy had closed his eyes to concentrate given his suffering with hearing loss and noise outside.

A series of other charges levelled against Mr Shendy had already been withdrawn and were subsequently not considered.

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