Doctor faked reference from dead professor to get KGH job

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A doctor made up an email address and faked a reference to secure a job at KGH – but was caught out after staff found that the man was dead.

Eman Mohamed Bahaeldin Tolba Elsayed was working at the hospital when, in January 2015, her employment references were called into question.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal heard KGH received a reference about Dr Elsayed’s capabilities from a Professor A, dated June 2014.

But after an investigation, they found an online obituary for Professor A – he had died two weeks before he supposedly sent the reference.

Further communication with the Egyptian Medical Syndicate confirmed that the professor was indeed dead.

Dr Elsayed claimed that the email address used to send the reference – which was a Yahoo account rather than a professional email address – was one that he had given her.

But her claims came unstuck after a number of revealing factors, alongside the fact that the professor was dead at the time of the email, showed how she had manufactured the reference to earn the job.

In the application forms and reference Dr Elsayed had spelt her referee’s name two different ways, varying between Mostafa and Mustafa, both of which were incorrect.

The tribunal also discussed Elsayed’s claims that a colleague of Professor A could have sent the email, given his illness.

They decided that had a pre-prepared reference or pro-forma reference form had been sent on behalf of him it would have been mentioned within the reference, which it wasn’t.

The panel went on to discuss an email that Dr Elsayed, crucially, had sent to a colleague ‘admitting’ sending the reference herself.

The email read: “In the second application I was interviewed and was successful. Unfortunately he died.

“As I’m in the UK and it is difficult to approach anybody else there, I was struggling to reach any referee.

“My stupidity pushed me to create and send the email.”

Dr Elsayed claimed that her colleague had threatened her and told her what to write, but the tribunal found no evidence to support her claims.

The matter was referred to the NHS Counter Fraud Department and she resigned in February 2015.

Further investigations found that she had also used the same email address to provide references for a job in Maidstone in Kent, where she worked for just over a month.

Dr Elsayed, who was not present or legally represented at the hearing, had her name erased from the register.

Tribunal chairman Dr Nigel Westwood said: “The tribunal noted that her actions were repeated on two separate occasions, where the reader of the references would believe they had been provided by Professor A.

“The tribunal determined that Dr Elsayed had a clear intention to mislead the Kettering hospital and the Maidstone hospital, and that she was dishonest in providing false information to two prospective employers which placed her in a positive light.

“The tribunal took the view that there was a clear motive for her to be dishonest in this way; namely to secure the jobs in question and that there could be no innocent explanation, such as a misunderstanding, to account for her behaviour.

“The tribunal concluded that Dr Elsayed’s actions were misleading and dishonest.”

KGH’s director of human resources, organisational development and strategy, Mark Smith, said: “We can confirm that we reported Dr Elsayed to the GMC and that she resigned from the trust in February 2015 after we detected concerns about her application.”