Doctor Struck Off Over False Speciality Exam Claims

Peter Russell

September 02, 2019

A doctor who accepted a post as a consultant endocrinologist after falsely claiming to have passed her specialty certificate examination (SCE) in endocrinology and diabetes has been struck off the UK medical register.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) determined that Dr Rasheeta Sivapackianathan had exhibited "sustained dishonest behaviour and abuse of her special position as a doctor".

The tribunal was told that Dr Sivapackianathan sat the SCE in or around June 2016. The following month she was sent a letter informing her that she had failed the exam.

False Claim

In a July meeting with the training programme director for a penultimate year assessment, Dr Sivapackianathan falsely claimed that she had passed the exam, and later confirmed the claim by countersigning a form for her annual review of competency progression.

After failing a re-sit of the SCE the following year, Dr Sivapackianathan submitted an application for certificate of completion of training (CCT), despite knowing she was not eligible for specialist registration.

The tribunal heard that within days, she applied for a post as consultant endocrinologist with Barts Health NHS Trust.

During her interview, the doctor claimed to hold the CCT, and altered the results letter to falsely state that she had passed the SCE, uploading a copy of the amended letter to her e-portfolio.

Dr Sivapackianathan's application triggered an investigation by Barts.

In November 2017, she accepted the post of consultant endocrinologist, despite having attended a disciplinary meeting about her fraudulent conduct earlier the same day, during which she was advised by the postgraduate dean to avoid clinical work.

The MPTS said it had taken the decision to protect and promote the health, safety, and wellbeing of the public, and in the interests of maintaining public confidence in the medical profession.

Dr Sivapackianathan had admitted the allegations at the outset of proceedings, and apologised for her actions.

The erasure will take effect after 28 days unless the doctor appeals.

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