Express & Star

Trainee doctor avoids sack for drinking on duty – and drink driving

A trainee doctor has avoided being sacked despite admitting to drinking alcohol while working on night duty and then driving home three times over the legal limit.

Last updated

Dr Mahweer Maheshwari was employed as a GP Trainee at Shropshire General Practitioner Vocational Training Scheme when the incident took place in October 2021.

The doctor is currently in his final year of training and is working as a GP Trainee at Albrighton Medical Practice.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing gave the trainee doctor a warning after concluding that his risk of repeating the behaviour was low.

The incident happened between October 27 and 28 2021, when Dr Maheshwari was undertaking a trainee placement in psychiatry at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT).

The hearing heard that Dr Maheshwari consumed alcohol while on night duty and was unfit to work.

A colleague reported that Dr Maheshwari had not been responding to the on-call bleep and that a staff member had stated that he had been “difficult to awake and a bottle of alcohol was found by the bed”.

Dr Maheshwari left work at 9.30am on October 28 heading towards the car park and police were called.

The organisation was not able to contact Dr Maheshwari and the car was later found at his home address.

On behalf of the GMC, Harriet Tighe said: “Members of staff requested that he take a taxi home instead and he ignored those requests.”

Ms Tighe said that he narrowly missed crashing into another vehicle when leaving the hospital car park.

She added that Dr Maheshwari provided a sample of breath to police, which was three times over the legal limit.

Dr Maheshwari was convicted of drink driving and was sentenced at Telford Magistrates Court to a £300 fine, a community order and disqualified from driving for a period of two years.

In his reflection statement Dr Maheshwari said: “I have never in my life (been) so irresponsible to using any drug/alcohol at work which I really am sorry about as how it could have made things worse due to risk of patients at being harm and I am at risk of hurting myself, hurting others, irrational behaviour.”

He stated that he drank alcohol ‘very rarely’ and has remained abstinent from alcohol for over a year.

Robert Dacre, representing Dr Maheshwari, said that there have been no concerns about his client’s professional conduct or performance either before the incident or since.

Deciding that the doctor was currently ‘not impaired’, MPTS tribunal chair Nicholas Flanagan said: “As Dr Maheshwari admitted in evidence, due to his intoxication, he was unable to undertake any assessments of patients and could have caused serious harm by prescribing inappropriate medication or doses in his intoxicated state.

“Dr Maheshwari’s actions led the unit he was supposed to be supervising to have no medical cover for the night in question, with other staff members attempting to rouse him and being concerned about his welfare.

“Dr Maheshwari had worked several night shifts in a psychiatric ward and the tribunal was satisfied that the events occurred in a particularly stressful period in his professional and personal life.

“The tribunal considered the risk of Dr Maheshwari repeating the behaviour to be low, as he had gained insight into his actions and had an excellent support system in place.”

The warning will sit on the doctor’s registration for two years.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.