February 22, 2022 6.00 am

Dishonest doctor struck off after stealing drugs

Locum doctor unmasked by colleague

By Local Democracy Reporter

A dishonest doctor has been struck off after stealing drugs from Grimsby hospital.

Dr Stephen Macshane stole drugs while working as a locum at the hospital, and abandoned them in the car park when he was challenged.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found that his dishonesty made it impossible for him to ever practice as a doctor again.

Dr Macshane had been assigned a shift at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital on February 14, 2018 when a colleague saw him take a drug from a cupboard.

When asked about this, he said he felt uncomfortable and didn’t want to continue working at the hospital.

He went outside to phone his employment agency, and the drug was later found where he had been standing in the car park.

The substance isn’t named in the tribunal report, however it says that there was concern that he could have taken it and returned to work, impacting on patients’ care.

The hospital reported Dr Macshane, and a police investigation led to him being charged with theft by employee.

He denied the charge until the first day of his trial at Grimsby Crown Court.

He was sentenced to six months, suspended for two years.

Judge Nadim said at the time: “You have reduced yourself from being a respected practitioner of medicine to a thief. In so doing you have betrayed the trust and expectations of the public that you were employed to serve, you have betrayed the trust of your employers, your colleagues, and indeed your profession.”

The tribunal noted that Dr Macshane had a history of lying and only admitting guilt when there was no other option.

While working at Chesterfield Royal Hospital in 2017, he had falsely claimed on paperwork that a deceased patient’s wife had identified the body.

He had repeatedly lied about this later, despite evidence to the contrary.

A tribunal found he’d had “benevolent motives” in sparing the wife the anguish, but his actions amounted to gross misconduct.

He was suspended as a doctor for four months for this incident.

Dr Macshane didn’t attend the tribunal for the theft at Grimsby hospital.

It found in his absence that the misconduct meant he was unfit to practise, and he could lie in future if allowed to continue.

The tribunal has found that Dr Macshane’s actions represented two separate instances of dishonesty, both of which involved an abuse of his professional position as a doctor, and he had not been willing to recognise or admit his wrongdoing until a very late stage in each case,” the report said.

The tribunal was concerned about the lack of insight, reflection, or remediation. The lack of progress was troubling and there appeared to be little or no evidence that Dr Macshane was addressing the issues.

As such, it was not clear to the Tribunal that there would be no repetition of these events in the future.”

Peter Reading, Chief Executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We encourage and support all our staff in speaking up and challenging any inappropriate behaviour from those working in our hospitals.

“Thanks to the vigilance of our staff, the theft of the drugs by Dr Macshane – who was working as a locum doctor – was noticed and reported.

“We will continue to support our staff in speaking up as a route to maintaining professional standards.”