Hammersmith Hospital Doctor Suspended for Four Months

Dr Priya Das gave patient three times the prescribed drug dose

Hammersmith Hospital

An NHS doctor faces a four-month suspension after they gave a patient at Hammersmith Hospital wrong drug doses. A tribunal ruled that Doctor Priya Das should be suspended for four months after she gave a patient three times the dose they required of one drug.

The doctor was also found to have used another member of staff’s login to access drugs at the hospital when they were not cleared to do so, according to a medical tribunal.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service report revealed that Dr Das had admitted to giving the wrong doses of different drugs to a patient on October 26, 2018. The doctor was working with patients with kidney disease at the time.

Dr Das gave the patient, known only as Patient A, 300mg of the drug Gabapentin three times a day, rather than giving the previously administered dose of 100mg three times a day. She also gave the patient a double dose of beta-blocker Bisoprolol.

Dr Das did not discuss the patient’s prescriptions with senior colleagues before giving them the drugs, and failed to record that they had changed the dose. The doctor had also given the patient two doses of Irbesartan when doctors previously said it should not be given.

In its decision notice, the tribunal said: “The prescribing could have resulted in significant side-effects for Patient A and it was only through the fact that the various mistakes were noticed by a pharmacist that potentially serious consequences were avoided.”

It then added: “The Tribunal concluded that the seriousness of the concentration of errors fell so far short of the standards of conduct reasonably to be expected of a doctor as to amount to misconduct.”

On behalf of Dr Das, her lawyer Charles Foster accepted that she had made mistakes, but said that she had improved as a doctor, and should not be suspended, according to the tribunal report.

The lawyer agreed that there could have been “serious consequences” when Dr Das gave a patient wrong drug doses, but added that there was no evidence that these failings were part of a pattern.

The doctor has since taken courses to learn how to properly prescribe medicines. Mr Foster added that Dr Das only used an old smart login to try and carry out her medical duties.

Between August 2018 and November 2018, Dr Das was working on a ward for patients with kidney disease at Hammersmith Hospital. During those three months, the doctor did not have an NHS Smart Card, so she could not order prescriptions for patients or discharge patients.

Instead, she used an old member of staff’s login details. The doctor used the old ID login to let her order prescriptions, conduct investigations and complete discharge summaries.

Dr Das’ suspension may be delayed or reversed if she chooses to appeal the tribunal’s decision. The Local Democracy Reporting Service has contacted her lawyer for comment.

Jacob Phillips – Local Democracy Reporter

March 14, 2022