Doctor denies falling asleep during consultation

A doctor who allegedly fell asleep during a consultation with a patient at a Liverpool hospital “closed his eyes to concentrate,” he has been claimed.

During the second day of a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing into his conduct, a woman seen by Dr Maged Shendy back in September 2019 said the former consultant at Liverpool Women’s Hospital was shaken awake by snoring after dozing off during an appointment. A total of 10 charges have been laid against the doctor, who left the specialist hospital almost four years ago.

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 woman, known only as patient G, said on 4 September, 2019, she attended a preoperative consultation with Dr 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.”

The woman said this was consistent with his behaviour during a previous appointment when he “did not seem interested” and had been yawning throughout as if “in need of a good sleep”. Patient G said she saw Dr Shendy asleep for about five minutes, from which he was “shook awake” by his own snoring.

It was at this point patient G claimed Dr Shendy had asked for her medical history, which she said she had gone through with the training practitioner “while he was asleep,” adding how this didn’t seem to bother him.

Patient G said the other doctor looked “really embarrassed” with the hearing told she had reported Dr Shendy’s head falling forwards towards his chin as if sleeping. Mr Mahmood said Dr Shendy’s position was that he had not fallen asleep.

He said, “He had his eyes closed for a little while, as he suffers from hearing loss, was attempting to concentrate because of external noise.” When questioned if she may be mistaken about Dr Shendy falling asleep, patient G said, “I know when someone is asleep and in deep thought and I would say he was asleep.”

The second day of the hearing also heard from a woman known as patient E, who was said to have had an appointment at Liverpool Women’s with Dr Shendy in July 2019.

Patient E said the doctor she alleges was Dr Shendy did not introduce himself prior to the appointment but she had received a letter from Liverpool Women’s Hospital Trust indicating her session was with him. She said, “It felt really awkward, there was no discussion, he was doing his thing, I was there waiting to be examined.”

Patient E said she did not sign anything before or after the procedure. Mr Mahmood said it was Dr Shendy’s position that he did not recall examining her and it was possible she had been seen by somebody else.

The patient rejected this, saying she recognised him from a photograph online and described him as being “abrupt, abrasive” and made to feel “like I wasn’t a patient, not a person”. Patient E said Dr Shendy had ignored her after the examination took place when she asked if she should get dressed.

She added how afterward, it felt like it was “getting blood from a stone” to get information from the doctor and had to “drag” it out of him. Patient E told the tribunal later that night she said her husband, “I feel like I’ve been raped,” adding, “I felt really shocked and violated.”

The woman said given her own medical background and career in hospitals, she knew her appointment had been “wrong”.

A third woman, patient F, told the hearing she was seen by Dr Shendy in August 2019 with regards to a possible vaginal prolapse. She agreed with Mr Mahmood that it would have been clear an examination was needed to establish if this was the case.

The patient said to the panel at no stage was she examined by Dr Shendy and felt like she was “rushed out” of the appointment. It was established by another doctor a year later, the woman did not have a prolapse, a view shared by Dr Shendy.

Questioned by Mr Mahmood, patient F said he had likely come to this assertion “by guessing” as he had not examined her. The doctor’s counsel said it was his position he had performed the examination and it was the only way he could have reached this view.

Patient F said this could not have been possible as she was a female patient and there had not been a chaperone present alongside the male doctor.

The hearing continues.

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