Drunk NHS doctor suspended after being caught drinking wine from a coffee cup at work
A drunk-driving NHS doctor has been suspended after he was caught drinking wine from a coffee cup at work.
Michael Farrell has now been suspended after he brazenly drank the drink during his lunch break at the clinic where he worked – despite patients being scheduled for the same afternoon.
The veteran Teesside doctor appeared before a medical court.
It was heard that colleagues became suspicious when they noticed the smell of alcohol coming from Farrell’s room in April 2021.
This follows news that the NHS doctor was previously caught five times above the limit on a roadside breathalyzer test and refused to give a blood sample because of his needle phobia.
The tribunal heard that on the same day Michael Farrell (pictured above) was caught drinking at work, he quietly left the clinic through the emergency exit without telling anyone and never returned
In the early hours of January 6, 2019, he was pulled over by police in his car after officers suspected he was driving while intoxicated.
Teesside Magistrates’ Court was previously told that Farrell refused the test out of “fear of needles”. He also alleged that he was wrongly denied the opportunity to provide a urine sample and that the procedure for obtaining his informed consent was not properly followed.
Now the doctor has been suspended for six months in a hearing that ended on February 8, 2023.
It was heard Farrell was working as a GP at Parkgate Medical Practice in Darlington, County Durham when he was caught drinking at work on April 15, 2021.
He was supposed to be working that afternoon, taking care of patients.
However, that same day, the GP quietly left the clinic through an emergency exit — without telling anyone — and never returned to work.
The panel heard Adam Bonarius-Burns, the practice’s office manager, find bottles of energy drinks in Farrell’s room, which he thought smelled of vodka.
While the GP denied drinking vodka, he admitted he did in fact have wine in a coffee cup at his clinic with his lunch, which explained the smell.
After Adam Bonarius-Burns, the practice’s office manager, searched Farrell’s office, he found energy drink bottles in the doctor’s office that he believed smelled like vodka. However, Farrell declined to drink the alcoholic beverage
When Farrell was questioned before the tribunal about why he drank alcohol when he was assigned to treat patients, he argued that stepping out of the practice was tantamount to his “duty” and that he was no longer responsible for them.
However, the court rejected this claim.
They also criticized the doctor for his behavior and actions, saying his quick departure caused “significant professional difficulties” for his colleagues.
The panel added that Farrell’s “actions fell far short of the standards expected of a licensed physician” and suspended him.
They also added, “It was clear and undisputed that Farrell had consumed alcohol … during [he] was still inside the practice rooms.
“He was supposed to be tending patients this afternoon.
‘[We are] not satisfied with the required standard that Farrell resigned from the practice when he left his post.
“Dr. Farrell left the office without informing anyone and drove home.
“He chose to go through the emergency exit instead of going through reception.”
It stated that he had many “opportunities” to inform his work of his decision, but “didn’t”.
The tribunal said: “He had many avenues and methods of alerting colleagues to his departure when he wished to but did not.
“This may have left patients unable to access a doctor’s appointment at a time when they needed care and were causing significant professional difficulties for his colleagues.”
Farrell currently works at Shiregreen Medical Center and Melrose Surgery, Sheffield.
Parkgate Medical Practice was contacted by MailOnline and said the practice did not wish to comment.
Shiregreen Medical Center was contacted by MailOnline for comment.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/drink-driving-nhs-doctor-suspended-after-he-was-caught-drinking-wine-out-of-coffee-mug-at-work/ Drunk NHS doctor suspended after being caught drinking wine from a coffee cup at work