Doctor told to repay £98 000 to NHS after working as locum while on paid sick leaveBMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3172 (Published 09 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3172
A doctor who defrauded the NHS of nearly £100 000 by working as a locum in England while on paid sick leave from his regular job in Wales may be jailed if he fails to pay the money back.
Prosecutors have asked Cardiff Crown Court to order Anthony Madu to refund earnings of £98 000 (€134 000; $150 000) under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows the authorities to claw back money made through criminal activities.
Prosecutor Christian Jowett told the court, “The doctor has transferred £95 000 to a bank account in Nigeria.” The hearing was adjourned for a further investigation into his assets.
Madu, 45, was appointed as a specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, in August 2009. He was suspended two months later over allegations about his conduct towards colleagues and claims that he had falsified his training record.
From January 2010 he submitted sick notes to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board on three occasions, saying that he was unable to return to work because of stress. But he worked as a locum at four hospitals in England, while receiving £29 000 in sick pay from the health board.
He was convicted on six counts of fraud and given a two year suspended prison sentence in December 2014. He was spared an immediate jail term because a psychiatric report said that he was at high risk of suicide if jailed.
Madu has also been the subject of a lengthy investigation by the General Medical Council. Successive orders were made from 2010 restricting his practice on an interim basis, and he is currently suspended from practice by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service pending a full hearing.
In 2012 he unsuccessfully fought an application to the High Court by the GMC to extend his interim conditions for a further 12 months, arguing that the allegations against him were fabricated and were being investigated in a malicious and abusive way.
The High Court was told that he was under investigation or had been investigated for misrepresentation of his training record, unacceptable or inappropriate manner towards colleagues and patients, working in breach of restrictions, and failure to cooperate with ongoing investigations.
Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3172