Doc­tor struck off af­ter sus­pen­sion

He lied about qual­i­fi­ca­tions to get DGRI job

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Kenny Mac­Don­ald

A former Dum­fries doc­tor has been struck off af­ter sev­eral sus­pen­sions for ly­ing about his qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

Orthopaedic doc­tor John Dil­lon was axed ear­lier this week by the Med­i­cal Prac­tioner Tri­bunal Ser­vice (MPTS) fol­low­ing com­plaints to the Gen­eral Med­i­cal Coun­cil.

His lies came to light af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the fam­ily of a woman who claims she was left paral­ysed due to Dr Dil­lon’s neg­li­gence.

Mrs El­iz­a­beth Butterfield, 68, was seen by him eight years ago at Dum­fries In­fir­mary with sus­pected cauda equina syn­drome (CES) a rare con­di­tion which needs im­me­di­ate treat­ment and ur­gent surgery to pre­vent paral­y­sis.

How­ever, she said Dr Dil­lon dis­missed it as “sci­at­ica” with­out thor­oughly ex­am­in­ing her and her con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated.

She lodged an of­fi­cial com­plaint with the GMC and ac­cused health of­fi­cials of putting pa­tients at risk by fail­ing to check his qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

Dr Dil­lon was re­peat­edly sus­pended af­ter tri­bunals in June 2016, March 2017, and March 2018 be­fore be­ing fi­nally struck off this week by MPTS.

An in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tant seen by Mrs Butterfield pri­vately in 2014 con­cluded that it was “ap­pro­pri­ate to sus­pect” that she had CES, which her GP had raised as a con­cern in 2010.

Mrs Butterfield, for­merly of Thorn­hill , spoke out two years ago af­ter Dr Dil­lon was barred from prac­tis­ing for nine months in June 2016 fol­low­ing a com­plaint to the GMC by her fam­ily.

He was found to have lied re­peat­edly about his qual­i­fi­ca­tions by falsely claim­ing mem­ber­ship of med­i­cal col­leges, in­clud­ing two in Scot­land. How­ever, the tri­bunal did not con­sider the But­ter­fields’ al­le­ga­tions of neg­li­gence against Dr Dil­lon.

She said at the time: “I was and still am, in agony. I’m dou­bly in­con­ti­nent and I can’t walk be­cause my legs have been paral­ysed. I don’t want this to hap­pen to any­one else.”

The fact that the doc­tor lied on his CV when ap­ply­ing for a post at DGRI — for which col­lege mem­ber­ship was a job re­quire­ment — only came to light af­ter the But­ter­fields re­searched his back­ground and alerted the GMC.

He was not struck off ear­lier for the false claims, which were also made in aca­demic pa­pers, be­cause al­though he had not com­pleted the ap­pli­ca­tion process for any col­lege, he had passed ex­am­i­na­tions to join the Royal Col­lege of Physi­cians and Sur­geons of Glas­gow.

And it was ruled that he had ad­e­quate med­i­cal ex­per­tise.

Mrs Butterfield had to wait three months be­fore she had an op­er­a­tion, which was too late to pre­vent paral­y­sis, and it was four years be­fore she re­ceived a di­ag­no­sis of CES af­ter pay­ing for a pri­vate con­sul­ta­tion.

She is now house-bound and her son, Chris, 43, is her full-time carer.

He said: “What has hap­pened to my mum is hor­rific. It is eight years since he did this to her. The dam­age was done in Dum­fries.

“He lied about his qual­i­fi­ca­tions.”

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