Derby doctor who smoked weed and told staff to tell patients he had DIED has suspension increased
By Eddie Bisknell
June 13, 2019
A doctor who admitted smoking cannabis – and ordered his staff to tell his patients he had died – has had his suspension extended AGAIN.
Dr Anatta Nergui, an adult psychiatrist for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, has been suspended from the medical register for a further nine months.
This is after he ran an online psychiatry service but failed to refer patients to professionals, putting them at “significant risk of harm”.
Dr Nergui has found himself under close scrutiny by industry watchdogs seven times in the past eight years – including through fitness-to-practise panels, medical practitioner tribunals and several reviews.
These were linked to two incidents – admitting smoking cannabis and also the website.
His first appearance at a fitness-to-practise panel was in 2011, when the now Derby-based doctor was working as a locum consultant psychiatrist at Wishaw General Hospital in Glasgow.
In that hearing, it had been proved that, in 2009, he grew cannabis at his home, smoked this cannabis and asked his staff to tell his patients that he had “died in peace”.
He also said that he no longer smoked cannabis.
At the time, Dr Nergui had been known as Dr Shehzad Ahmad Javed.
But on June 9, 2009, he phoned his secretary and said: “Tell everyone that Shehzad Javed died in peace. It’s not a suicide of the body, but a death of the mind.”
Staff at Wishaw General Hospital called the police due to being concerned about Dr Nergui’s safety.
He then admitted that he had smoked some homegrown cannabis the previous night and that he had used cannabis in the past.
Dr Nergui also admitted that he drank a bottle of vodka every one to two weeks.
During an evaluation, Dr Nergui stated that Dr Shehzad Javed had died and for the remainder of the interview, he referred to Dr Javed in the third person.
He referred to himself as “Nergui – the nameless one”.
At the time, it had been decided that Dr Nergui could continue to work but with a range of conditions to ensure that he did not repeat his “misconduct”.
The doctor officially changed his name to Anatta Nergui by Deed Poll on August 3, 2009.
In 2013, Dr Nergui started a psychiatry role at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
A tribunal that year had ruled that Dr Nergui was not guilty of misconduct. However, this was taken to High Court for appeal, which quashed the decision.
A subsequent tribunal in 2014 ruled misconduct.
Now Dr Nergui, an adult psychiatrist for the same trust, has been suspended from the medical register for a further nine months.
This will take his suspension to more than five years – since he was handed a three-year suspension in 2014 by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.
The 2014 tribunal had found that Dr Nergui’s fitness to practice medicine was “impaired”.
Further tribunals in 2017 and 2018 found that he was still not fit to return to medicine without intense supervision and strict conditions – with each extending his suspension by nine months.
Now another tribunal hearing this month has found that Dr Nergui is still impaired – with a further nine month suspension.
Christina Moller, tribunal chairman, wrote in a report: “The tribunal found that Dr Nergui had not demonstrated sufficient, if any, insight into the seriousness of his misconduct and consequent risks to the public.
“Dr Nergui has not discharged the persuasive burden on him to show that he is no longer impaired by reason of misconduct.
“The tribunal is not satisfied that there is a low risk of repetition.
“The tribunal found that Dr Nergui’s response to his regulator’s concerns was inadequate.
“It considered that a finding of current impairment is necessary to promote and maintain public confidence in the medical profession and to uphold professional standards, as well as to protect the public.
“The tribunal could not be satisfied that he fully appreciated the gravity and seriousness of his misconduct.
Dr Nergui’s case stretches back to 2012 when he had owned and maintained a website called www.neurofeedback-scotland.com through which users could ask for advice from an online psychiatrist.
However, the report says that Dr Nergui’s response to one patient which was deemed to be of “a philosophical style which risked interpretation”.
Meanwhile, the report says that in 20 out of 22 cases between February and April 2012, Dr Nergui had failed to recommend that the user see a doctor or psychiatrist.
The report continues to say that in 30 cases Dr Nergui failed to recommend that the user attend a course of counselling or psychotherapy and in seven out of a possible 12 cases, he failed to request further information from the user with a view to determining a diagnosis.
A High Court hearing found that this amounted to misconduct.
It was agreed by the 2014 tribunal that while there was no evidence of any direct harm to patients having occurred as a result of Dr Nergui’s actions, there was also not any evidence that patients were not harmed.
A report on Dr Nergui’s misconduct found says that he “had created a situation which exposed vulnerable patients to significant risk of harm”.
It added that “Dr Nergui’s misconduct had damaged the public interest, in that his work purported to offer the services of a psychiatrist without appropriate safeguards to patients”.
Dr Nergui, who did not speak at this month’s hearing or send representation, emailed the General Medical Council, which brought the case, to say: “‘I confirm I have never stopped providing online advice.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are extremely proud of the skills, commitment and caring attitude demonstrated by the overwhelming majority of our workforce.
“When concerns are raised about the performance of an individual employed by the trust, we will thoroughly investigate those concerns working in partnership with the relevant professional organisation or body.
“We cannot provide information on the circumstances of individual employees.”
‘Dead’ psychiatrist Anatta Nergui fit to work
12 July 2013
Dr Anatta Nergui was formerly known as Dr Shehzad Javed before changing his name by deed poll.
As Dr Javed, he worked at Wishaw General Hospital. He is currently working as a locum for Derbyshire NHS Trust.
A review hearing ruled he was now fit to return to unrestricted practice.
They said the medic had “gained full insight into his behaviour”.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard how he told a colleague: “Tell everyone that Shehzad Javed died in peace.”
The panel is satisfied that two consecutive periods of conditional registration have enabled you to gain full insight into your behaviour
Carrie Ryan-Palmer, Tribunal panel chairwoman
In June 2009 he refused to go into work and made the bizarre phone call to his colleague and added: “It’s not a suicide of the body, but a death of the mind.”
He also sent two secretaries £100 gift vouchers thanking them for “being in his life”.
Worried colleagues at the North Lanarkshire hospital were so startled they phoned the emergency services.
When police arrived at Dr Nergui’s home on 9 June 2009, they found several cannabis plants and evidence that he had been smoking the drug.
Dr Nergui was called before his professional regulator in 2011 and admitted to growing and smoking cannabis as well as making the phone call and failing to see a psychiatrist a few days later.
He was allowed to continue working under conditions for 18 months and at a review hearing last year they were varied but extended for another 12 months.
At a further hearing, the panel was told Dr Nergui was now employed as a locum doctor by the Derbyshire NHS Trust after moving away from Scotland last year.
The panel agreed to remove his conditions and allowed him to return to work without restrictions.
Chairwoman Carrie Ryan-Palmer said: “It is clear, from the evidence provided to the panel, that you are making strenuous efforts to keep your clinical knowledge and skills up to date.
“The panel is satisfied that two consecutive periods of conditional registration have enabled you to gain full insight into your behaviour.
“In all the above circumstances, therefore, the panel has determined that your fitness to practise is no longer impaired by reason of your misconduct.”
The General Medical Council (GMC), represented by Simon Phillips QC, presented evidence to the panel of Dr Nergui’s compliance with conditions and continuing professional development.
He said: “Our position is that it is a matter for the panel whether or not the doctor’s fitness to practise is impaired currently, having regard to the information both by the way of background and the evidence before it.”
Dr Nergui addressed the panel only to say: “I think my only reason for bringing myself here today was to show the panel I’m here and it seemed to me that the previous panels made a reference that there was a lack of insight, that I had not engaged in previous meetings.”
The 2011 hearing was told that Dr Nergui informed a secretary he had smashed his mobile phone against a wall because he did not need it any more and cancelled an order for a computer printer for his office, saying he had ordered it “out of greed, not need”.
He was taken into custody on 9 June 2009 and assessed at Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, where he told a doctor he had smoked some home-grown cannabis the previous night and that he had used cannabis in the past.
The psychiatrist also admitted to drinking a bottle of vodka every one to two weeks.
During that interview, Dr Nergui said Dr Shehzad Javed had died and for the remainder of the conversation, he referred to Dr Javed in the third person.
He referred to himself as “Nergui – the nameless one”.
Dr Nergui worked as a locum consultant psychiatrist for NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Ayrshire between 2004 and 2009.
At that time he was known as Dr Shehzad Javed until he officially changed his name to Anatta Nergui by Deed Poll on 3 August 2009.
He did not work in medicine for several years after he left his job in 2009 and took up his most recent post in March this year.