Psychiatrist faces being struck off for carrying out unregulated circumcisions
September 09, 2014
A doctor circumcised dozens of young boys in a filthy clinic on the first floor of a terraced house, a tribunal heard.
Dr Hassan Ramadan Abdulla, 63, was not registered by the Care Quality Commission when he undertook the procedures for religious or traditional reasons at his Leicester clinic.
The NHS psychiatrist, who is also a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, charged parents £70 to circumcise boys at his private Al-Khalill Clinic, in the Evington area, from 2002.
He admitted six offences of carrying out surgical circumcisions over a three-and-a-half month period in 2011 without the registration required by law at Leicester Magistrates Court in July last year.
Five of the offences related to carrying out operations on individual boys, while the sixth related to illegal surgery performed on a further 36 children.
Dr Abdulla, of Sudbrook, Lincoln, was fined £2,700 and ordered to pay more than £30,000 in costs.
He is now facing a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service fitness to practise hearing in Manchester, where he could face a ban from the profession.
Nigel Grundy, for the General Medical Council, said: “This case concerns, not Dr Abdulla’s NHS practice as a psychiatrist, but his operation of the private clinic to perform circumcisions on male babies and young children for religious or traditional reasons.”
He told the panel that the clinic operated, on Saturdays, from the first floor of a 1920s or 1930s terraced house.
Dr Abdulla has admitted that the premises were inadequate and that he did not maintain clean or sterile instruments.
The panel heard that bosses at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust contacted the CQC after concerns were raised about an operation carried out on a four to five-week old baby boy in October 2011.
Dr Abdulla admitted to failing to gain informed consent or taking a full medical history after the boy’s parents were simply handed a consent form.
Officials conducted two visits, on 28 January and 4 February 2012, and criticised the standards of cleanliness and sterilisation as well as the adequacy of the premises to carry out circumcision operations.
Dr Abdulla had applied for registration from the CQC in September 2011, but was unaware it had been unsuccessful because he had failed to provide the proper documentation.
But it is a criminal offence under the Health and Social Care Act to carry out a regulated activity without being registered with CQC.
He pleaded guilty to six offences under the Act at the Leicester Magistrates Court on 29 July last year.
Dr Abdulla was fined £450 for each of the charges and ordered to pay £30,099.80 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
District Judge Timothy Daber, sentencing, told him: ‘Without registration, the CQC had no power to regulate your practice, thereby putting patients at risk.’
But the judge said that his provision of circumcisions for children of the Islamic or Jewish faith had not been motivated by financial gain.
The doctor had offered the service in Leicester at a low cost after non-medical circumcisions were made unavailable on the NHS.
Dr Abdulla spoke only to confirm his name and GMC registration number at the hearing but Stephen Brassington, defending, admitted all of the four charges on his behalf.
Mr Grundy said: “Charge one relates to the conviction at Leicester Magistrates Court… in relation to him operating that clinic in the three-and-a-half month period between 11 October 2012 to 30 January 2013 without being registered with the CQC, as required by law.
‘Charge two relates to a particular circumcision procedure performed by Dr Abdulla on 1 October 2011 involving Patient A.
‘He was four to five weeks old at the time of the procedure and…Dr Abdulla did not obtain informed consent or obtain consent from Patient A’s parents.
‘Nor did he make an adequate inquiry into Patient A’s medical history.
‘Charges three and four, in effect, relate to the standards of cleanliness and sterilisation practiced by Dr Abdulla at the clinic and the adequacy of those premises… as revealed during the course of the CQC visits on 28 January and 4 February 2012.’
The hearing continues.