Essex doctor was found 'unfit' to work in 'dirty' room after missing emergency calls

The Priory Hospital in Chelmsford
The Priory Hospital in Chelmsford -Credit:Priory Hospital Chelmsford

A doctor at an Essex hospital was found in an "unfit" state to work in a "dirty and disarrayed" room after he failed to answer emergency calls while on duty. Dr Ayoola Arigbabu was working on a night shift at the Priory Hospital in Chelmsford when the incident took place.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel heard Dr Arigbabu was working at the hospital, which is an independent mental health centre, on March 26, 2021 when he returned to his quarters at around 6am to sleep. He then did not answer two emergency calls between 6am and 8am.

The medical director of the hospital then attended the hospital accommodation at 9am and called Dr Arigbabu twice from the ground floor on his emergency mobile phone, and he answered the second call. When he presented himself downstairs, Dr Arigbabu was "considered unfit to work" although no specific details of this were disclosed at the hearing.

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He was escorted off-site and suspended from duty. His room in hospital accommodation was found to be in "a state of disarray, was dirty and smelled". Dr Arigbabu would later refer himself to the General Medical Council in April 2021 and resigned from his post at Priory Hospital in May of that year.

The MPTS gave Dr Arigbabu a 12-month condition of practice order immediately after the incident was reported, and at a final hearing in April this year, the doctor accepted the misconduct and provided a "detailed" reflective statement which "offered insight and remediation" into his behaviour, the panel said.

Chair of the panel, Christina Moller, said: "The Tribunal is also satisfied that Dr Arigbabu has good insight into his previous misconduct and its potential consequence. In addition, Dr Arigbabu has expressed remorse and demonstrated remediation of previous issues of concern. This means that he has minimised the risk of any repetition."

The panel opted to let Dr Arigbabu's current conditions of practice order expire, meaning as of April 13, 2024, he will be allowed to return to his medical career.