King’s Mill doctor was not registered

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AN unregistered Belgian doctor who was working in the neurology department at King’s Mill Hospital has had an application to be restored to the Medical Register rejected.

Dr Johannes Peperkamp worked as a locum neurologist at King’s Mill between 10th May and 9th June 2012, despite being removed from the register the previous year for not paying his annual fees.

A Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service hearing heard that Dr Peperkamp had come to the attention of the General Medical Council after concerns were raised about his professional performance in 2005.

An assessment was carried out and this found ‘deficient’ professional performance on his part.

Specialist assessors considered his failings to be ‘largely concerned with the treatment of epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, which they considered to be the “bread and butter” of neurology’.

There were also worries about his record keeping, with patient records found to be ‘difficult to read, entries were unsigned, brief and in some cases incomplete, with important information missing’.

Dr Peperkamp agreed to take action to improve his performance but he was then removed from the Medical Register, with his consent, after not paying the registration fee.

This meant he was not permitted to undertake any form of medical practice within the UK for which registration was required.

However, after applying to have his name put back on the register in June 2012, Dr Peperkamp admitted having worked at King’s Mill while unregistered.

Dr Peperkamp told the hearing that he thought he was eligible to take up the work at King’s Mill and did not remember about the undertakings he had agreed to in order to improve his professional performance.

The Fitness to Practise Panel found that though there is no evidence that he directly harmed patients, Dr Peperkamp worked at King’s Mill after his work was found to be deficient and without complying with these undertakings. He failed to discolose information relating to his registration status.

Rejecting his application to be restored to the Medical Register, the Panel said that his ‘behaviour was wholly inappropriate for a medical practitioner. It represented a reckless disregard for the systems which are designed to safeguard the interests of patients and to maintain high standards within the profession.’

Karen Fisher, Executive Director of Human Resources, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said after the hearing: “At the time of Dr Peperkamp’s employment, between May and June 2012, our HR processes relied on the administration practices of the employing agency to verify the GMC registrations of its doctors.

“As soon as we became aware of Dr Peperkamp’s registration status his locum contract was terminated.

“Following this, our internal processes have been reviewed and an additional step has been put in place which ensures our HR department double checks the GMC registrations of all agency doctors.”