A DOCTOR has been described as acting ‘dishonestly’ and struck off for failures in the treatment of a seriously ill young patient who later died.

A hearing before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service was told how Dr Vasudha Mashankar failed to treat the patient in March 2015 and compounded the problem by fabricating medical records to protect herself from criticism.

The patient, who has not been named, was originally treated at University Hospital of North Tees before being transferred to Newcastle where he later died.

The doctor, who was not present during the hearing in Manchester, was struck off the medical register after the tribunal found she had acted dishonestly.

The tribunal heard how the doctor had failed to assess the patient properly and had ignored a nurse’s plea to take a closer look at the ill child.

The conclusion read: “The Tribunal has determined that this was not purely one single incident but two incidents in a single night when Dr Mashankar was called upon to assess and examine Patient A. It has determined that Dr Mashankar’s failure on both occasions to carry out an adequate assessment and assess changing clinical symptoms brought to her attention by nursing staff were serious failings.”

Evidence before the hearing showed that the doctor also falsified evidence and failed to communicate information to the child’s mother.

The report added: “Having considered all the evidence placed before it, the Tribunal has concluded that her action in making her retrospective entry regarding an examination of Patient A...was dishonest. It has concluded that her behaviour fell seriously short of the standards of conduct that the public and patients are entitled to expect from all registered medical practitioners. The making of a false entry in a patient’s notes is potentially misleading and has implications for patient safety.”

The tribunal heard that the young boy had been suffering severe headaches and began to complain about neck pain but Dr Mashankar still took no action to treat the patient despite growing concern for nursing staff.

After being transferred to Newcastle, a scan showed the young patient has suffered an intracranial bleed and died as a result.

In a statement submitted to the hearing, Dr Mashankar apologised to the family but offered no evidence to explain the false entry in the patient's notes.

She wrote: “ I have been extremely distressed by the incident and I am extremely sorry for what has happened. I am anguished by the irreparable loss to the family especially the parents. I have reflected on the unfortunate incident. It was an extremely busy night on March 27 when I started my shift and I had to look after the patients who had not been seen earlier.”

Dr Mashankar left North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust in 2015.