Doctor boasted on Twitter about cheating NHS

Posted: August 8, 2012 in Law & Disorder, NHS WATCH
Tags: , ,

A doctor who is accused of cheating the NHS out of £29,320 while on sick leave and working as a stand-in doctor with neighbouring health authorities was caught out after boasting on Twitter that she was earning ‘megabucks’. People just never learn do they?

Dr Lucy Dawson was signed off work with stress and depression for six months but she was also allegedly moonlighting as an £800-a-day hospital locum. No wonder NHS is going under, I’ve already blogged on the surgeon avoiding paying tax on his wages now we have a doctor getting double bubble, working whilst off sick. NHS paying someone while they are off sick? Surely a pay slip with ‘£x’ amount of sick pay with shed loads of money in wages too should have sent alarm bells ringing.

The 45-year-old’s fraud trial heard that she was reported by Nick Jenkins her former lover and boss, with whom she had a 13-year affair ending ‘acrimoniously’ in 2006. Hmmm whistleblown eh, more on whistleblowing later. Dr Jenkins’s wife Marianne, 53, had been monitoring Dawson’s Twitter account and noticed her messages about working in other hospitals. She had spotted Dawson’s Twitter messages boasting that she was earning ‘a stupid amount of dosh’.
The mother of two also bragged on Twitter about drinking wine and a lifestyle of ‘nightshift Monday, debauchery Tuesday’, while still signed off from her main job in the Royal Gwent Hospital’s casualty ward. Just what a casualty patient wants a worn out pissed up doctor working on them. Her NHS employers were also forced to pay another £36,000 to locums who stood in for her in her main job as an accident and emergency specialist.

Newport Crown Court heard the prosecution claim she worked an eight-hour shift at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, earning £520. She worked ten shifts at hospitals in Worcester and Hereford, earning £7,840.

The court heard Dawson also sent out Twitter messages about the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, her employer at the Newport hospital since 1989. Which is time for me to mention whistleblowing again.

This is a news item from 2010:

A Welsh doctor who raised concerns about the competency of her colleague was offered a £90,000 pay-off if she agreed to a “gagging order” clause contained in her tribunal settlement.
Dr Lucy Dawson raised the alarm at Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall Hospital, 2006, when she noticed the poor care being exercised on a seriously injured young patient. She claimed that without intervention the patient would have died due to negligence.
But employers failed to act within the correct guidelines when Dr Dawson approached them with her problem. Managers apparently took no statement about the matter and failed to uphold confidentiality requirements by telling the shamed colleague, who later became Dr Dawson’s Line Manager.
When she took the matter to an Employment Tribunal earlier that year, Gwent NHS Healthcare Trust offered her a £90,000 settlement but demanded she adhere to a confidentiality clause which Dr Dawson refused and was employed at a new hospital.

“I would like the Aneurin Bevan Health Board to make a public statement that gagging clauses will not be used in future and that whistleblowers will be protected,” Dr Dawson said.
At least her ex-lover Dr Jenkins will benefit from protection of whistleblowers now.

More people on the ‘hey diddle fiddle’

An architect and his two ‘opos’ were caught out after an eagle-eyed rail official spotted a forged ticket. The police turned up and discovered that the trio had been involved in forging and using first class rail tickets and railway car park passes. Apparently old tickets had been scanned on to a computer and the date changed, ‘simples’.

Their scam involved copying a first class monthly season ticket from Southampton to London Waterloo worth £849.50 and a monthly railway car park ticket costing £130.

The three men – architect Neil Stantiall, construction firm boss John McInally and building worker Mark Batt – have now been given suspended jail sentences for their part in the fraud, which involved dodging more than £2,000 of rail fares and parking fees.

This seemed an odd and out of touch thing to say by Judge Susan Evans QC, she said the men “had caused the railway company a ‘significant loss’, leading to increased prices for everyone.” As though losing £2,000 caused the rail company to put up all their prices.

Southampton Crown Court heard that a rail community officer uncovered the swindle in July last year when he spotted a fake parking ticket on the dashboard of McInally’s Citroen Xsara at Southampton Airport Parkway. Unlike genuine tickets, it was blank on the back. Oh for goodness sake surely one of the trio had a printer that could print on both sides, slapdash work was there undoing.

Police stopped McInally, 46, as he left the car park and recovered three more fake monthly parking tickets and a first class monthly season ticket. After reading text messages on his phone, officers arrested Stantiall, 40, and Batt, 34, who is McInally’s brother-in-law. Oh no another mistake not clearing texts out, what is the matter with people.

The texts showed Stantiall made the counterfeit tickets. Although none was found at his home in Whiteley, Hampshire, the court heard ‘it was clear he was responsible for supplying the tickets and had received at least some money for it’. A first class monthly rail season ticket was found at Batt’s home in Southampton.

Anyway the bottom line is:

Stantiall was given 16 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and 250 hours of unpaid work.

McInally got 12 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Batt was given ten weeks in prison suspended for two years, and 180 hours of unpaid work.

McInally and Batt were ordered to repay the £2,219 that was defrauded, perhaps the rail company will put down their fare prices now the two grand has been paid back, while all three were told to share £1,500 court costs.

  1. Turner says:

    Further to the story regarding Dr Dawson, the outcome for the trial was that the jury could not reach a conclusion ie it doesn’t appear to be an open and shut case.The NHS has decided not to drop charges and at great public expense have called for a retrial. As you mentioned the doctor concerned did not accept a 90000 pound pay off for the whistle blowing incident. Food for thought.

  2. Turner says:

    In addition, the doctor concerned has been found NOT GUILTY as new evidence was given at a re-trial hearing. Her life has been on hold for the last two years and the reporting has been a nightmare for her family. Think you could do the decent thing and take your post down Percy Weller?

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