Former Southern Health psychiatrist did other work while on sick leave
The psychiatrist worked for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust at the time
A psychiatrist who called in sick, due to stress, and then worked for another provider hours later has been suspended for two months.
Dr Venkata Chintala was employed by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust during January and May 2019, when she said she could not work but completed 10 appointments for another provider.
She admitted misconduct and said she was “sad” and “disappointed”.
A panel said she was a “competent and much-needed” doctor.
But the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel said while she was found to have “some insight” into her misconduct, it also found her “at times evasive and not entirely forthright”.
It concluded she was “part way along her journey of remediation” and although a risk of her repeating her error was low, it would still exist until she “gains full insight” into what she did.
She told the panel her misconduct arose from “poor management of her work-life balance and her inclination to deal with stress by seeking more work”.
On the first occasion, she emailed her line manager’s secretary on 8 January 2019 at 08:37 GMT to say she was unable to work because she was “not feeling well” and had “flu-like symptoms”.
She then attended assessments for patients at 13:30 and 16:00 on the same day and another at 00:30 on 9 January.
In total, she carried out the separate appointments while on sick leave between 8 and 11 January and 13 and 17 May.
Dr Chintala has since left Southern Health and currently works for the community mental health recovery team based at St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth.
The MPTS panel said her registration would be suspended 28 days from the date on which she is deemed to have been served with written notification of its decision, which she can appeal.