27th May 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Locum GP caught drink driving in NHS 24 car in isles suspended by GMC

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An on-call doctor who drove an NHS 24 car while over the drink driving limit has been suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC) for two months.

Dr David Irons was working as a locum doctor for NHS Shetland on 9th August last year when he took to the wheel after drinking beer. He later met with friends and shared a drink with them before deciding to drive home.

He was arrested and detained before appearing at Lerwick Sheriff Court the following day, where he was fined £500 and banned for 12 months.

A four-day GMC fitness to practice hearing in Manchester found Dr Irons had been unable to perform some of his duties after he was detained, although he was able to carry out some tasks over his mobile phone.

An allegation that Dr Irons concealed his arrest and detention was not proved, however.

During the hearing he told the panel he had not wanted to disturb colleagues. He had also come clean about the incident the following day.

The panel heard Dr Irons had been working 106 hours per week, during which time he was the sole on-call practitioner.

He was experiencing sleep deprivation and also felt isolated socially and professionally.

Dr Irons, who was here on a short-term contract, no longer lives or works in Shetland.

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