A hospital doctor who left her post without telling colleagues or arranging for the handover of patients has been found guilty on two counts of professional misconduct.
Dr Ogechi Chuku, a locum senior house office at St James’s Hospital at the time of the incident in November 2014, was cleared of a third count of professional misconduct relating to her contacts with a consultant in the hospital’s emergency department.
The fitness to practise committee of the Medical Council said it was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Dr Chuku had left her post early without informing colleagues, and that this amount to professional misconduct.
It rejected as “not credible” her contention that no doctor or nurse was present in the department in the 15 minutes before she left after feeling unwell.
“The committee was satisfied from the evidence of Dr Chuku that she had not suffered any medical collapse such as would have prevented her from informing any person of her intention to leave the hospital,” it found.
The committee also accepted the evidence of other staff that Dr Chuku made no arrangements to transfer the care of her patient to another doctor or nurse before leaving and said her “brief note” did not amount to a clinical handover.
This failure was a serious falling short of the standards to be expected of a senior house officer, it said.