Derby doctor a risk to people with mental health problems
Psychiatrist Dr Anatta Nergui has a history of misconduct
By Matthew Lodge
October 14, 2020
A Derby doctor has been suspended for the second time in two years by an independent watchdog.
Psychiatrist Dr Anatta Nergui has faced disciplinary panels for failing to refer people asking for help.
The doctor had his licence suspended in July 2019 but it was reinstated in April this year under the provision he adhered to strict rules.
However, he has now been suspended again after a medical tribunal ruled that he does not appreciate severity of what he did.
The adult psychiatrist, who started work at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in 2013, first came to the attention of the watchdog in 2011 after he smoked cannabis and told his staff to inform patients that he had died in peace while working in Glasgow.
This incident led to him being evaluated by the watchdog but it chose not to suspend him on that occasion.
Following this he set up an online psychiatry service where people asked him for advice.
In the course of this, it was found that he failed to refer patients for professional help, putting them at “significant risk of harm”.
A medical tribunal decided to suspend his licence for nine months in July 2019 after he showed a “lack of insight” into what he had done wrong.
A report found that in 20 of 22 cases between February and April 2012, Dr Nergui failed to recommend the user saw a medical professional.
It added that in 30 cases he failed to recommend the user attended counselling or psychotherapy, while in seven out of 12 possible cases, he failed to asked to for more information to come to a diagnosis.
It was found this amounted to misconduct.
Since that tribunal in 2014, a series of hearings found his ability to practice unsupervised and without conditions was “impaired”.
In 2019, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) suspended him after he had not “demonstrated sufficient, if any, insight into the seriousness of his misconduct and consequent risks to the public”.
This suspension was lifted earlier this year after a tribunal in March found he had “clearly made progress with regard to his approach to the case”.
However, it chose to impose conditions on him while doing so, as Dr Nergui had “continued to write online about psychiatry and psychology, although not under his own name”.
Now it has decided to reverse its decision and suspend his licence for 12 months after it found his “insight has diminished rather than improved” since the hearing in March.
At a review on September 17 this year, a MPTS hearing was told that Dr Nergui had done a number of courses to keep up to date with his field.
However Kevin Slack, chair of the tribunal, said the psychiatrist did not seem to understand what he did was wrong.
A report from the tribunal said a statement submitted by Dr Nergui “rejects key findings of previous tribunals”.
Mr Slack argued that “Dr Nergui still fails to appreciate that his online activities created a risk of harm to the users of his services”.
He added that evidence given by Dr Nergui to the tribunal only seemed to focus on “the supposed benefit to users” of his website and not the potential risk to them.
The report said: “Given Dr Nergui’s continued lack of insight, Mr Slack submitted that his fitness to practise remains impaired by reason of his misconduct.”
Suspending Dr Nergui for 12 months, Mr Slack said there “is a risk to patients in this case if he were to resume his practice”.
Dr Nergui has been given 28 days to appeal the decision.