Liverpool doctor deleted medical records to cover up mistakes, tribunal hears

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Dr Victor Ebenuwa admitted six charges put to him by the GMC

A Liverpool doctor deleted medical records in a bid to cover up errors that put a patient at serious medical risk.

After misreading the results of a blood test, Dr Victor Ebenuwa, a partner at the Margaret Thompson Medical Centre in Speke, administered medication that was inappropriate to the needs of a man known as Patient A.

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A General Medical Council (GMC) medical practitioners tribunal hearing was told how upon studying test results Dr Ebenuwa erroneously recommended treatment for an overactive, rather than underactive thyroid for the patient.

Upon learning of his mistake, Dr Ebenuwa deleted records and changed data to show the medication he had prescribed was actually part of the man’s existing medical history. In a short hearing on Friday morning, the Speke-based doctor admitted six charges put to him by the GMC.

The session was told how in March 2021, patient A had a consultation with Dr Ebenuwa regarding diarrhoea and was sent for tests. Upon receiving the results, the practitioner placed Patient A on medication to treat thyroid deficiency.

In April, the patient was admitted to Whiston Hospital having suffered a heart attack and upon being informed a month later, Dr Ebenuwa realised he had mistakenly diagnosed the wrong condition and medication. At this point, he sought to amend the records held for Patient A and deleted logs of a telephone consultation held between the two.

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He did not at any point tell Patient A to stop taking the medication or communicate the errors he had made.

The patient would go on to suffer a second heart attack and died in July 2021. The GMC said Dr Ebenuwa’s actions were not thought to have been a direct causal link to the man’s death.

The hearing heard how upon her father’s death, the daughter of patient A requested medical records from the practice. A meeting between her, practice officials and Dr Ebenuwa was held in February 2022, in which the doctor admitted he had misunderstood the initial test results.

It was said he expressed regret, apologised and was not aware patient A had suffered heart attacks. Counsel representing the GMC said Dr Ebenuwa’s actions may not have come to light had Patient A’s daughter not requested the records.

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It was said Dr Ebenuwa’s decisions had been “designed to conceal his error” and he had admitted dishonesty. The hearing was told how the doctor had said his behaviour was “out of character” and his move to delete records had been “influenced by fear and shame.”

GMC counsel said Dr Ebenuwa, who originally qualified as a doctor in Lagos in 1989, “buried his head in the sand and assumed all was well.” He had expressed “regret and apologies” when his errors came to light.

As a result of the charges being proved, a GMC panel will now decide if Dr Ebenuwa’s fitness to practice has been impaired and any sanction that would follow. The LDRS contacted the Margaret Thompson Medical Centre for comment.

The hearing continues.

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