ALLEGATIONS of sexual misconduct against a consultant dermatologist were ruled 'not proved' by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal.

Doctor Hamdi Hamad, who was brought before the panel on April 29 for an eight-day hearing, was working as a locum doctor in the dermatology clinic based at Warrington Wolves when the alleged incident took place.

The panel heard that in August 2017, a female patient visited Dr Hamad for a consultation having been diagnosed with a melanoma on the inside of her left thigh in 2012.

She had undergone surgery to remove the melanoma and some lymph nodes.

The consultation was one of several check-ups she had attended with dermatologists at the clinic since her surgery but the first she had with Dr Hamad.

It was alleged that during the consultation, Dr Hamad physically examined Patient A's genital area when this was not clinically indicated, while failing to wear gloves, obtain consent, or record either that he had undertaken the examination or obtained consent.

Patient A said that Dr Hamad’s physical examination of her genital area was sexually motivated.

It was further alleged that Dr Hamad failed to visually examine or palpate lymph nodes on the woman's right groin and a scar on her left groin, and that he failed to palpate a scar on her left thigh.

In addition to this, Patient A said Dr Hamad failed to introduce himself.

The tribunal heard how later on in the day, the patient phoned the clinic and spoke to a nurse.

The content of this conversation was unclear but the result was that the patient was advised with regard to the location of lymph nodes and informed her that if she had a complaint she could contact PALS.

After discussing the matter with a member of her family, the woman reported her concerns to Cheshire Police the same evening.

Police subsequently interviewed Dr Hamad and confirmed that they would not be taking any action against him.

The tribunal received evidence from professor Andrew Wright, consultant dermatologist, as an expert witness called by the GMC.

Several colleagues also gave written statements.

The patient accepted in her oral evidence that Dr Hamad had explained to her that he was going to check her scar, lymph nodes, moles, liver and spleen.

Patient A stated that, after Dr Hamad had looked at her scar, he asked the healthcare assistant to go and get some gel.

The tribunal heard that this would have been for use on the lens of a dermatoscope, an instrument used to assist clinicians to visualise areas of the body.

The accounts of the patient, Dr Hamad and the healthcare assistant agree that the chaperone did not leave the room to get the gel at this point.

In her written evidence, the healthcare assistant stated that the time she would have taken to get the gel from the desk in the room was short – 'approximately two seconds'.

In her GMC witness statement the patient alleged that immediately after she went to get the gel, Dr Hamad acted as follows:

"Dr Hamad put his middle finger and his index finger onto the upper half of my genitals and moved upwards.

"This lasted for around 2 or 3 seconds. He did not say anything to me before, during or immediately after he touched my genitals.

"I can’t remember exactly how long the nurse was away getting the gel, but I don’t think it was more than a minute. Dr Hamad was not wearing gloves at any point during the examination."

Dr Hamad denies that he touched the patient's genitals in this manner.

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Patient A stated that, although Dr Hamad touched her genitals, he did not touch the scars on her left thigh and groin, or the lymph nodes on her right groin.

Dr Hamad maintained that he conducted a thorough examination in line with his usual practice, visualising and palpating her scars, lymph nodes, liver and spleen, and also checking Patient A for moles.

In light of the direct contradiction in the evidence of Patient A and Dr Hamad, the tribunal considered the evidence of both in terms of content and credibility.

The tribunal noted that Patient A’s evidence was marked by a number of inconsistencies between her written and oral accounts of the events of the consultation, given at various stages of the police and GMC investigation process and at this hearing.

Having heard Dr Hamad’s evidence, the tribunal determined that he had no independent memory of the consultation. This was one consultation among approximately 30 that he would have conducted that day and around 90 in the three days he worked at the clinic that week. They noted that Dr Hamad was only informed of the allegations some weeks afterwards and it was therefore 'unsurprising' that he had no specific recollection of the events.

The tribunal considered that Dr Hamad’s good character supported his evidence to some extent.

It was clear from the material provided to it by his colleagues that he is a very experienced consultant, who has been frequently involved in intimate examinations and was noted by his colleagues as being sensitive to the needs of patients and very aware of privacy and consent issues.

MPTS tribunal chair, Nicholas Flanagan, found that Dr Hamad's practise is not impaired and all allegations were not proved.

  • In the original report from the MPTS it stated that Dr Hamad worked at Warrington Hospital. This is incorrect, Dr Hamad worked as a locum doctor in the dermatology clinic based at Warrington Wolves. Warrington Hospital did not employ Mr Hamad and we are happy to clarify this.