Doctor will face questions over accusations of patient neglect

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A DOCTOR who used to work for the St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust is set to answer a series of damaging allegations at a fitness to practise hearing next month.

Doctor Rajat Banerjee stands accused of leaving anaesthetised patients unattended on more than one occasion while working for the Trust between January 2002 and July 2007.

It is alleged that the then staff grade anaesthetist left patients without the requisite safeguards in place and was warned that his conduct was deemed “unacceptable” in a letter from the Head of Service in April 2002.

It is also alleged that Dr Banerjee disappeared when a patient, referred to only as Patient A, was at a highly critical stage of a medical procedure.

He stands accused of failing to fulfil the primary goal of anaesthesia to induce and maintain a level of unresponsiveness - and was not immediately accessible when problems arose.

A fitness to practise panel will also hear evidence that Dr Banerjee’s conduct was “misleading and dishonest” in that he missed his clinical duties by pretending to attend external courses on numerous occasions between January 2006 and June 2008.

Several allegations relating to Dr Banerjee’s subsequent time working in Bolton as a staff grade doctor in anaesthetics will also be heard.

It is alleged that in May 2009 he failed to adequately monitor or maintain supervision of Patients B and C.

Dr Banerjee is also accused of failing to comply with an infection control initiative while drawing up solutions for a spinal injection and, while treating Patient D in relation to muscular paralysis, for failing to take adequate precautions in the administration of medicine.

It is further alleged that in February 2010 Dr Banerjee undertook clinical duties despite feeling “unwell” and that he failed to devise or implement a treatment strategy for the care of Patient D given evidence of lung dysfunction.

Finally it is alleged that in May 2010 Dr Banerjee failed to ensure adequate provision of anaesthesia following the transfer of Patient E to the operating theatre.

A fitness to practise panel in Manchester will hear Dr Banerjee’s case from March 18. It is estimated that the case could take five weeks before a conclusion is reached.