‘Incompetent’ former radiographer at Colchester hospital is struck off

Hospital. Stock image.

Hospital. Stock image. - Credit: IAN BURT

A former radiographer employed at a Colchester hospital described as “incompetent” has been struck off.

Manik Sharma was suspended by the Health and Care Professionals’ Council (HCPC) in June 2013 after serious concerns were raised about his ability to do the job.

There were fears cancer patients at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust (CHUFT) could have been put at risk had he not been constantly supervised.

At the time Sharma did not attend the conduct and competence committee hearing, which heard he had possibly the same level of knowledge as a first year student and had injured a colleague, but Sharma later maintained he was up to the job and had seven years’ experience.

A suspension order was put in place to protect the public.

Now he has been struck off by the HCPC in a final review hearing after being continuously suspended for two years.

He was not at the hearing, but the panel was told Sharma had requested he be removed from the register.

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At the time of a review hearing last year he was working at a hospital in his home country of India.

Panel members found there was no insight from Sharma in relation to his failings and no reasonable grounds to suppose he will address the outstanding competence issues.

Chairman Gill Madden said: “It is not in the public interest or in Sharma’s interests for the panel to impose a further suspension order. The only appropriate sanction is a

striking off order.”

The order will take effect on July 9.

CHUFT came under fire at the time of the initial hearing when it was revealed Sharma had been recruited from India via Skype.

However it was the trust who fired Sharma two months into his probationary period after spotting bad practice, and referred him to the HCPC.

A spokesman said: “The trust recruited Manik Sharma after checking with the HCPC he was registered to practice, which he was, and after taking up two clinical references. Like all hospitals, we rely on the HCPC to register radiographers who are fit for practice but in this case, the individual was not.

“As a result of this case we did review our recruitment processes and found they were sufficiently robust as long as those processes are rigidly adhered to.”