A family doctor who was suspended after asking a Muslim woman to remove her veil at an appointment has been allowed to work again.
dr Keith Wolverson, 54, was sentenced to a nine-month ban last year after he found guilty of or admitted to a total of 17 misconduct charges in 2018 while working as a deputy at emergency centers in Derby and Stoke.
In other incidents, in the notes of 15 patients, he criticized their English skills and those of their relatives, claiming it was “unacceptable” and “not good enough”.
Wolverson has now been allowed to return to work, albeit with new sanctions for a year, after a Misconduct Committee ruled that he had failed to show sufficient “insight” into his actions or embark on a “cultural diversity” course.
These sanctions include assigning an “officer in charge” to ensure Wolverson meets certain medical standards, as well as assigning them a “workplace reporter” to give them regular feedback on his behavior.
dr Keith Wolverson (pictured), 54, who was suspended after asking a Muslim woman to take off her veil, has been allowed to work again
The GP must also “design a personal development plan that addresses equality, diversity and inclusion with a particular focus on cultural diversity”.
The 17 allegations of misconduct related to incidents between January and May 2018.
In one incident, during a consultation on May 13, 2018, he three times asked a Muslim woman named Ms. Q to remove her niqab and said he could not hear her describe her daughter’s symptoms.
She declined his initial request, saying she didn’t want to for religious reasons, but he then repeated it.
Her husband complained and the woman said at last year’s hearing that she felt “harassed and racially discriminated against” during the consultation.
In an email later that month in response to the complaint, Dr. Wolverson that she “spoke poor English,” that he “had difficulty understanding her,” and that he “tried to pay attention to her mouth movements to facilitate communication,” which the arbitral tribunal believed to be dishonest.
It was also noted that Dr. Wolverson refused to speak to Ms Q’s husband despite attempting to communicate with the doctor, which Dr. Wolverson later claimed because he “found his behavior aggressive and intimidating”.
dr Wolverson’s legal representative, Tom Day, admitted the doctor was “insensitive”.
The General Medical Council (GMC), which heard the case against Dr. Wolverson filed with the MPTS does not have specific guidelines for testing women who wear a full-face veil.
Duncan Toole, chairman of the tribunal, said they believe Dr. Wolverson’s actions for “regrettable”.
He added: “Dr. Wolverson had dishonestly responded to a patient complaint, repeatedly demanding that a face veil be removed and making offensive comments in medical records.”
dr Wolverson admitted to making “offensive notes and comments” about poor English skills in patient files, adding, “I shouldn’t have said that, it was unprofessional, but it came out of frustration in trying to help people.”
“It’s difficult to diagnose if you don’t understand the language someone is speaking in.”
Wolverson was handed a nine-month ban last year after found guilty or admitted to a total of 17 misconduct charges while serving as a deputy at emergency centers in Derby and Stoke (Image: Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke on Trent).
At the new review hearing, Dr. Wolverson said he did not ask any other patient to remove his veil in the years that he continued to practice prior to his suspension and that there was no “repeat of his misconduct.”
Since his suspension in October 2022, he said he has reflected on the incidents, reflected on how he would handle similar situations differently and “deeply regrets the comments he made on patients’ medical records.”
He told the court: “It would be completely wrong to uphold the suspension and continue to ban a doctor from fulfilling his duty to his patients when there are such serious shortages in the NHS at the moment.”
dr Wolverson added, “I have undergone training in medical ethics, honesty and probity.”
“I have stated that my standard position would never be to ask a patient to remove a face veil… I do see the cultural significance of wearing a face covering for some faiths and therefore this has far greater potential resonance than a patient who does.” taking off a face mask to prevent virus transmission.”
In its new verdict, the court stated, “He accepted the gravity and the findings of the court, but did not accept that he was dishonest.”
“The court was surprised that Dr. Wolverson’s remedy had not focused on attending cultural diversity courses.
“He accepted that the previous court’s findings were justified, but qualified this by stating that he did not accept that it was his intention to be dishonest.
“The court found that Dr. Wolverson explained that he completed an insight course and described how he changed his practice in relation to patients wearing a face veil.”
“Upon request, Dr. However, Wolverson does not explain how he put his findings into practice.”
The arbitral tribunal ruled that Dr. Wolverson had “failed to provide sufficient evidence of his increasing awareness of his actions” and that his “fitness to perform his duties continued to be impaired as a result of his misconduct”.
The court decided not to renew his suspension, but imposed conditions on his registration for an additional 12 months.