A doctor who made allegations against a number of NHS trusts and asked for cash to withdraw them was told his behaviour had fallen ‘far below the standards to be expected’.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has now imposed conditions on Dr Farhan Hussain Zaidi’s registration as a doctor for 12 months.
Dr Zaidi began 99 employment tribunal claims between October 2012 and July 2013 against 15 National Health Service trusts across the country.
He threatened to refer the trusts to the Care Quality Commission regulator unless financial settlements were agreed.
Dr Zaidi made claims against King’s College, Hillingdon, Moorfields, York, Imperial College, West Suffolk, Kingston, Ashford and St Peter’s, Wirral, South Devon, Blackpool, Yeovil, Plymouth, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh, and Doncaster.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service’s disciplinary panel concluded that the doctor had made a number of ‘very serious allegations’ against colleagues and others involved in dealing with his employment claims, without producing any reasonable objective evidence to support his accusations.
The hearing in Manchester was told Dr Zaidi claimed he had suffered discrimination in the course of seeking employment on the basis of religion, race, age and as a result of making protected disclosures.
The protected disclosures - which were to be defended by the individual trusts - related to patient safety concerns.
The tribunal heard he asked one trust for £100,000 to avoid him going to the Quality Care Commission.
Chairman of the panel Professor Stephen Miller said: “The tribunal noted that your conduct was repeated over a period of time and considered that it will have harmed some of your colleagues and wasted NHS resources.
“Your actions took place in the context of your applications for consultant posts and involved your strongly held views on patient safety issues.”
But the tribunal did not find Dr Zaidi’s conduct was intended to elicit unwarranted financial reward from the NHS and considered the risk of repetition of misconduct as ‘low’.
Mr Miller added: “The General Medical Council did not allege that your claims were issued in bad faith or that they lacked merit. In these circumstances it cannot be said that your conduct in the context of your employment tribunal claims was intended to elicit unwarranted financial reward.
“However the tribunal considered that your misconduct in impugning the integrity of colleagues and making ill-founded and alarmist statements about the risk to patients was so serious that it would undoubtedly erode public confidence in the profession if a finding of impairment was not made.”
As part of the conditions imposed, Dr Zaidi must notify the General Medical Council of any post he accepts before commencing - including any abroad.