Liverpool GP banned after deleting medical records to cover up mistakes

Dr Victor Ebenuwa amended records after a patient who received the wrong medicine had a heart attack.

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A Liverpool doctor who deleted medical records in a bid to cover up mistakes has been suspended.

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. A 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. It has now been confirmed the long-serving practitioner will serve a three-month suspension as a result of his actions.

A tribunal was told last week 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.

A month later, the man 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.

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. It was said Dr Ebenuwa’s actions were not thought to have been a direct causal link to the man’s death.

Dr Ebenuwa qualified from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, in 1989. He qualified as a Family Physician in 2000 and then went on to practise as a GP and trainer in Nigeria before moving to the UK in 2003.

Dr Ebenuwa joined the Margaret Thompson Medical Centre in 2006 and became a partner four years later.

The hearing was told 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.

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.”

It was said the doctor had “buried his head in the sand and assumed all was well.” He had expressed “regret and apologies” when his errors came to light.

In handing out the three month suspension, the panel was satisfied that Dr Ebenuwa did not pose any safety risk to members of the public. As a result, it was confirmed the ban would come into effect 28 days after written notification was made to the GP.

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