Al-Zayyat guilty of professional misconduct, says medical council
A doctor at the centre of the Baby P scandal in Britain has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the Irish Medical Council.
Sabah Al-Zayyat was found to have lied about her past when applying for a post at the Adelaide and Meath hospital in Dublin in 2008.
She had conditions attached to her registration in Britain at the time because of her role in the lead-up to Baby P’s death. The child, 17-month-old Peter Connelly, died from multiple injuries, including a broken back, just two days after he was examined by Dr Al-Zayyat, on August 1, 2007.
The case led to a series of resignations and sackings of social workers, three separate public inquiries, and a nationwide review of Britain’s social services.
Baby P’s mother, Tracey Connelly, received an indefinite jail term, with a minimum of five years for causing her son’s death. Her boyfriend, Steven Barker, who was found to have inflicted most of Baby P’s injuries, was jailed for 12 years. His brother, Jason Owen, was jailed indefinitely, with a minimum term of three years, for the same crime.
Yesterday, the Medical Council heard that Dr Al-Zayyat, who is originally from Pakistan, had conditions attached to her registration in Britain by the General Medical Council.
She was subsequently suspended from the register until 2011, when the GMC agreed to her request to be voluntarily removed from the register, meaning she could no longer practice medicine in Britain.
Dr Al-Zayyat did not attend yesterday’s hearing, and the inquiry heard that multiple efforts to contact her have been unsuccessful. Her current whereabouts are not known.
She registered in Ireland in 2002 and worked a series of short-term contracts in the Adelaide and Meath hospital in Tallaght, totalling about two and a half years over the four-and-a-half year period between July 2002 and December 2006.
On November 9, 2008, she applied for a post in the Adelaide and Meath hospital as a part-time locum consultant paediatrician.
The application was made online and she failed to inform the hospital that her registration was subject to conditions. Dr Al-Zayyat did not get the post, and while her application was being processed it was discovered that she had lied in a series of questions and checks about her medical record.
Barrister Ronan Kennedy, representing the CEO of Medical Council, said Dr Al-Zayyat could not have had any doubt what the conditions imposed on her meant.
“This isn’t a mere oversight, but in fact it was a deliberate and conscious effort to not disclose a fact,” he said.
Yesterday, she was found guilty on one counts of Professional Misconduct for failing to inform Tallaght hospital that her GMC registration was subject to conditions. The fitness to practise committee found this was conduct which doctors of experience, competence, and good repute might find disgraceful or dishonourable.
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