A suspended locum doctor who worked briefly for an east London NHS trust failed to tell it he faced concerns about his performance, a tribunal heard.
Dr Henry Alava Verzola, who did shifts for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) four times in 2019, has been suspended for 12 months after a tribunal found him guilty of misconduct and “deficient professional performance”.
Concerns were first raised about the clinical ability of Dr Alava Verzola in October 2018 when he was employed at Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal heard in 2022.
Dr Alava Verzola, the tribunal’s decision said, was “made supernumerary with a supervision requirement” and he was “not allowed to work night and weekend shifts”.
He then left the Portsmouth trust in June 2019 and started doing locum shifts for other hospital trusts across the UK through an agency called Medecho, a report said.
That year Dr Alava Verzola worked for BHRUT four times but had not informed the trust that he was “subject to supervision in response to concerns regarding performance”, the tribunal said.
In November 2019, Dr Alava Verzola was made to undertake an assessment to check his professional performance.
The tribunal found Dr Alava Verzola lacking in key areas like determining patient’s condition, clinical management and relationships with patients.
His performance, the tribunal said, was also a “cause of concern” in working with colleagues.
The tribunal recently published a report outlining its decision to suspend Dr Alava Verzola.
It concluded that his actions in not informing BHRUT and other trusts that he was subject to supervision “amounted to misconduct”.
The tribunal, however, added that Dr Alava Verzola had been “upfront and open” with his agency about his situation and that his conduct “did not fall seriously below the requisite standard” meant for doctors.
The tribunal noted that there was “limited evidence to show” that the doctor made any effort to remedy his misconduct after the first such instances were found.
The decision said “the risk of repetition remained high” and that he put “patients in potential risk of harm” due to his non-disclosure of his need for supervision.
His conduct, the tribunal added, “had the potential to bring the medical profession into disrepute” and “undermine public confidence in the profession”.
It upheld that Dr Alava Verzola’s fitness to practice was impaired.
BHRUT was contacted for comments by the Recorder and a spokesperson said: “As soon as the agency made us aware this doctor required supervision, he was no longer booked to undertake shifts at our hospitals.”