Doctor struck off after suspension
He lied about qualifications to get DGRI job
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.”