Doctor failed to make notes on cancer patient, inquiry hears

Dr Saqib Ahmed faces eight allegations from time at University Hospital Limerick

A doctor who worked in cancer treatment at University Hospital Limerick has been accused of failing to make proper notes about a seriously ill patient in his care as part of a fitness to practice inquiry.

Dr Saqib Ahmed, was working as a junior registrar at the Mid-Western Cancer Centre at University Hospital Limerick in 2012, is facing eight allegations of professional misconduct and/or poor professional performance in the inquiry.

He worked at the hospital from June-November 2012, before being placed on administrative leave.

The inquiry heard that, following his suspension, a stage four HSE report was carried out after complaints by two senior physicians at Sligo University Hospital about Dr Ahmed.


The inquiry was told the report, which was completed in May 2013, stated that Dr Ahmed was aggressive, dismissive and showed contempt for his colleagues and superiors.

The report also said he showed an “uncaring” attitude towards some of his patients.


Among the accusations Dr Ahmed faces are that he marked an area for a lumbar puncture on a cancer patient using his thumb nail; he failed to request basic tests; and he failed to respond to attempts by staff to contact him when he failed to turn up on time for a ward round.

It is alleged that he left a clinic in July 2012 without permission; failed to adequately assess a patient; and responded in an aggressive manner when doctors spoke to him about his treatment.

It is alleged that he failed to order chemotherapy treatment for a patient despite being reminded to by the chief oncology pharmacist and another pharmacist; and that he obtained leave to attend a four-day course but did not attend the course and failed to turn up for work.

It is also alleged that, in August 2012, Dr Ahmed failed to carry out an adequate assessment of a patient who was admitted to hospital with respiratory distress, and requested a chest x-ray for this patient when he ought to have known that the patient was too ill to be taken for an x-ray.

Dr Ahmed is not legally represented at the inquiry and is participating by telephone from Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the US.


The inquiry previously heard that Dr Ahmed had contempt for senior nurses and colleagues that tried to advise him.

On Monday, Dr Kamal Fadalla, who was working as a locum consultant haematologist at University Hospital Limerick in October and November 2012, told the inquiry he was surprised to find no notes on a seriously ill patient.

The patient, referred to as patient BK, was transferred to University Hospital Limerick from the Bon Secours Hospital in Tralee, Co Kerry on November 6th, 2012.

It was alleged that Dr Ahmed failed to provide an assessment of the patient’s condition, a medical history of the patient, an examination of the patient and a treatment plan.

The inquiry also heard allegations that he failed to order basic tests for the patient; and that he demonstrated poor clinical judgment and a lack of empathy for the patient.

Dr Fadalla said that, as a consultant haematologist on call that evening, he expected to receive a call about the patient’s arrival, but did not receive one.

The following morning, Dr Fadalla said he checked to see if the patient had arrived and discovered the patient had reached the centre the previous evening.

Dr Fadalla said that when he went to check the patient’s notes, Dr Ahmed said he was “surprised” that he had made no notes regarding the patient’s assessment or treatment plan.

Dr Fadalla told the inquiry that he assessed the patient and provisionally diagnosed BK with lymphoma.

Dr Fadalla told the inquiry that Dr Ahmed said he was “talking nonsense” when he told him about the diagnosis and clinical assessment of the patient.

Ward round

Dr Ahmed, who is representing himself, cross-examined Dr Fadalla regarding a day on October 20th, 2012, when they were meant to conduct a ward round together,

Dr Fadalla said Dr Ahmed could not be contacted for an hour on a day that he was the registrar on call.

Dr Fadalla said it was his first day working as a locum consultant at University Hospital Limerick and he had hoped to receive guidance on the ward round because Dr Ahmed was the registrar at the time.

The inquiry continues tomorrow.