Convicted fraudster doctor is allowed back to work

A doctor who defrauded a Lancashire hospital to the tune of £12,000 has been allowed back to work.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 9:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 9:43 am
Dr Coffey was working at Royal Preston Hospital

Dr John Coffey was working as a radiologist at Royal Preston Hospital when he was convicted of falsifying his working hours.

He had claimed that he was completing paperwork out-of-hours, and claimed a total of £12,000 in overtime payments, when in fact he was doing the work during normal working hours.

The scam involved him lining up almost-completed reports after working on them earlier in the day and waiting until 5pm to re-enter the clinical IT system and hit the “submit” button, claiming £4 per X Ray.

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Dr Coffey, 54, of Goose Lane, Chipping, was prosecuted at Preston Crown Court for fraud for false representation in 2017, and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to carry out unpaid work for 200 hours.

Following his conviction, he was also struck off from practising as a doctor for 12 months by the General Medical Council.

However following a new hearing, the GMC has now determined that he can return to work as a doctor.

Panel chairman Barrie Searle concluded: "The Tribunal was impressed by Dr Coffey’s level of insight into his conviction and agreed that he has demonstrated remediation.

"It determined that Dr Coffey has demonstrated genuine remorse for his actions and fully accepts the ramifications of his actions both professionally and morally.

"It notes that he has had a long unblemished career of 30 years and determined that the risk of repetition in this case is low.

"The Tribunal determined therefore that Dr Coffey’s fitness to practise is no longer impaired and the order of suspension can be revoked with immediate effect and he can return to unrestricted practice."

Dr Coffey resigned from Lancashire teaching Hospitals Trust in December 2014 and repaid the overpayment in full.