Stingy Dagenham doctor struck off for amending patients’ records

A stingy doctor who turned off his clinic’s fax machine to save money and amended patients records to cover his own mistakes has been struck off.

Dr Norman Ellul even refused to supply paper towels and hand wash at his practice in Dewey Road, Dagenham.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel heard how he had amended three patients records to make them “more appropriate,” and deemed that his actions “had the potential to cause serous harm to patients”.

Dr Ellul was first suspended in January 2011 and was yesterday (December 17) found guilty of a string of charges relating to his conduct and performance between 2009 and 2010.

Matters came to a head when Dr Ellul told his colleague, Dr Singaravelou, he had edited patient records.

Giving evidence, Dr Singaravelou said: “I was completely shocked when I heard that from him and I told him that’s not appropriate. He doesn’t know what the patient has presented with.

“He didn’t listen, he always raised his voice.”

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She reported Ellul to bosses, sparking an investigation by the Barking and Dagenham Trust which resulted in the GP being referred to the General Medical Council.

Panel chairman Richard Davies said: “Dr Ellul’s failings were wide-ranging and encompassed failures in relation to history taking, examination, record-keeping, prescribing, investigation, and clinical management.”

The panel also found that Dr Ellul “dishonestly amended patient records” and, in one case “specifically gave the impression” that his patient’s symptoms had appeared gradually when this was not the case.

Mr Davies said: “Dr Ellul’s conduct in amending the clinical records of another doctor were considered to be particularly serious, representing an abuse of his professional position and of the trust his patients and colleagues placed in him.

“His actions had the potential to cause serious harm to patients.

“Balancing all these factors, the panel determined that Dr Ellul’s misconduct and deficient professional performance is fundamentally incompatible with his continuing to practise medicine.”