The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has suspended Dr Malay Haldar following a General Medical Council (GMC) investigation. Dr Malay was a locum consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology. If he does not appeal the decision in the coming weeks, he will be struck off.
Why will they strike off Dr Malay Haldar?
The tribunal’s decision to erase Dr Haldar from the medical register comes after he was accused of “a catalogue of clinical failings”. There was a hearing at the end of October which charged him with misconduct. The charges relate to treatment he provided four patients in Harlow and Birmingham.
The overarching failings were a lack of communication with his patients and colleagues and failing to follow the appropriate guidelines:
A perineal reconstruction
Dr Haldar performed a perineal reconstruction on a patient undergoing a hysterectomy, despite her explicit instructions not to. She subsequently had difficulty urinating, so reported him to the police. He also made inappropriate comments to his patients about her sex life.
When operating on a patient who had severe endometriosis, Dr Haldar accidentally removed part of her ureter. He was also guilty of providing an inadequate pre-op consultation.
Not getting consent
Dr Haldar performed an instrumental delivery and an episiotomy on a patient, without getting appropriate consent. They found him guilty of “several failings”, in relation to this patient. This included failing to take adequate precautions during the late stages of labour and delivery of the placenta.
He performed a forceps delivery on a fourth patient, without an episiotomy. This patient fell victim to a number of failings, including:
- A vaginal examination and instrumental delivery without proper consent
- Operating with inadequate pain relief.
- Causing a third/fourth-degree tear and postpartum haemorrhage, and not recognising them quickly enough.
- Failing to recognise that he had sutured the patient’s rectum, in repairing the tear.
- Failing to call for assistance and escalate the care.
Again, Haldar made inappropriate comments to his patient, saying; “if he had met her [the patient] sooner, she would have been having his baby”.
Dr Haldar’s conduct at the hearing
Three of the four patients bravely gave evidence at the hearing, about the physical and psychological trauma they had experienced. Haldar refused to attend these hearings.
He maintained his innocence throughout the hearing and did not accept the GMC’s allegations. Although he did not give evidence at the hearing, he reportedly “bombarded” the MPTS and GMC with emails.
The final instalment in a series of tribunals
Employment Tribunal records show that this is not Dr Haldar’s first dispute with the NHS. However, the roles do appear to have been reversed. In 2017 he had the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust hauled in front of a tribunal. Although he was successful in accusing them of wrongfully dismissing him and failing to pay him his holiday pay, the judgement shows that what appears to have been a ‘win’ might be nothing more than a moral victory. It reveals that Haldar walked away from the hearing with an order to contribute £7,000 towards the hospital trust’s costs, due to his “unreasonable conduct”.
Its notable that Angus Macpherson, chairing the recent MPTS hearing said that “The only consistent behaviour he [Dr Haldar] demonstrated was outrage that the case was brought against him by the GMC”. Dr Haldar appears to be remarkably consistent when it comes to his conduct at tribunals, in recent years.
More broadly speaking though, it’s not the first time Haldar has had to face allegations about his conduct. He faced similar accusations, whilst working in Australia, about a decade earlier.
Previous disciplinary in Australia
Haldar obtained his medical qualification in India, in the late 80s, before coming to work in the United Kingdom. He joined the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1997.
In May 2007 he joined the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as a Fellow. He then took up a role at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, in New South Wales, Australia. On 14 January 2008 he began working at Gosford Hospital, also in New South Wales.
By December 2008 Dr Haldar had returned, to live in the UK and in February 2009 he was working at Royal London and St Bartholomews Hospital NHS Trust.
During his short time in Australia, Haldar admitted making a number of errors at a tribunal hearing in June 2011. He admitted
- Breaching an undertaking he had made not to perform a specific procedure.
- Failing to properly provide a patient with full information about the pain she would suffer as a result of an operation.
- Failing to keep proper records in relation to six patients.
Failings which share an awfully similar resemblance to the matters before the MTPS here in the UK which have resulted in him being struck off.
In August 2011 – by which time he was already working in NHS hospitals – The tribunal only cautioned him. They cited a number of mitigating factors and that the hospitals had significantly scaled back their original allegations, which included professional misconduct. They still said in relation to performing the surgery he had promised not to, that his “judgment… in the practice of medicine was significantly below the standard reasonably expected of a practitioner of an equivalent level of training or experience”.
Could Dr Haldar have been stopped sooner?
It’s not clear what, if anything, could have been done to stop Dr Haldar sooner. But with similar allegations of misconduct dating back to 2007 it does beg the question “could something have been done sooner?”.
Within Haldar’s first three months in Australia, they identified that he was displaying judgment later described as “significantly below the standard reasonably expected of a practitioner”. Over a period of less than two years following this, there is evidence of allegations against him in relation to six patients.
Although there does not appear to be any evidence of any misconduct in the UK until 2016, the fact that he went on to quickly amass a “catalogue of clinical failings” between then and 2018 does raise questions about the interim period. And if he was ‘on good behaviour’ in the interim period, why did he go off the rails?
It is entirely possible that Dr Haldar’s caution led to him temporarily changing his ways. However, we understand as medical negligence solicitors, that it can be hard for patients to speak out against doctors, who are not only authority figures, but responsible for their care. So, there may still be people out there who have not had their voice heard.
One thing that might concern the public is that if it wasn’t for his conduct at the tribunal, he could still be practicing. According to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Macpherson said that Haldar’s clinical failings were “capable of remediation” and that his “conduct and behaviour” are what are “fundamentally incompatible with that of a registered medical practitioner”.
What if you have received negligent treatment from Dr Haldar?
If you think you’ve received negligent medical treatment from Dr Haldar, we could help you claim compensation. Pryers’ team of specialist solicitors includes experts in gynaecology claims. Although there are time limits for making medical negligence claims, we will advise you for free, if we can help you on no win no fee basis. Just contact us by email, or call us on 1904556600.