This site is intended for health professionals only

Hospital radiologist struck off register after lying about being a GP

A consultant radiologist with a ‘history of dishonesty’ has been struck off the medical register after he falsely claimed that he was a GP.

Dr David Foster, who worked as a consultant radiologist and did medico-legal work at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, stated that he was a GP on two CVs in 2016 and 2017.

One CV was provided to medico-legal agency Doctors Chambers in December 2016, while the other was included within a medico-legal report dated August 2017, a tribunal at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) in Manchester heard.

The tribunal heard that Dr Foster had been writing medico-legal reports such as personal injury claims for a number of agencies, including Doctors Chambers.

However, the tribunal found no evidence that Dr Foster had ever been on the GP register or undertaken any training or assessment in general practice.

Dr Foster’s GP experience ‘was confined to a number of locum positions he held between 1975 and 1980’ – prior to the introduction of the GP register in 2006 – according to the tribunal report.

The tribunal ordered that Dr Foster should be erased from the medical register and immediately suspended over the 28-day appeal period due to his ‘history of dishonesty’.

The report said: ‘The tribunal considered that, given his history of dishonesty, it could not be satisfied that Dr Foster would not repeat the same behaviour should he continue to undertake medico-legal work.’

Ms Nowell, counsel on behalf of the GMC, said that Dr Foster had been suspended in the past for ‘very similar misconduct’ but that this had little impact as he ‘reoffended’ five years later, according to the report.

Dr Foster was suspended for two months after he was found to have acted dishonestly in four incidents heard by a fitness to practice panel in May 2011.

The MPTS tribunal said his actions would be considered ‘deplorable’ by fellow members of the profession, particularly given his ‘clinical seniority’ as a member of the specialist register since 1996.

Ms Nowell added: ‘Medico-legal reports are the cornerstone of personal injury claims and the CV of an expert writing a medico-legal report is expected to be accurate.

‘In referring to himself as a GP on a CV, Dr Foster was falsely advertising himself and his services, likely in the hope of gaining further medico-legal instructions in the future.’

These reports are relied on by road traffic accident victims, insurers, lawyers and the courts, she added.

Concerns about Dr Foster’s medico-legal work were first raised with the General Medical Council (GMC) in October 2018 when a legal assistant at Intereurope AG European Law Service queried his authority to examine and compile reports for those involved in road traffic collisions.

According to his 2016 CV, Dr Foster claimed to complete 800 medico-legal reports a year and to have completed over 5,000 since 1999, the report said.

The tribunal concluded that erasure was ‘the only appropriate sanction’ to protect patients, maintain public confidence in the medical profession and to uphold proper professional standards and conduct.

In October, it was revealed that GMC referrals to the MPTS had increased by 40%, despite ‘no significant increase’ in complaints made to the GMC over the past year.