A junior doctor has been banned after he was caught offering private cosmetic surgery while on sick leave from the NHS.
Oxford-educated Dr Daniel Coventry took sick leave across six months while working at Worthing Hospital.
However, staff at the hospital later found that Coventry had been spending his sick leave performing private cosmetic procedures at a clinic in Brighton.
Coventry, 33, who graduated with a first-class degree from the University of Brighton before studying medicine, took sick leave between April and October 2018.
After concerns were raised by consultants, an investigation found a social media post showing he had been completing “private aesthetic work” at DC Aesthetics, a company he owned, and A New You in Trafalgar Street.
Some procedures at the Brighton clinic cost as much as £8,000.
Chloe Fairley, legal counsel for the General Medical Counsel, argued that Coventry’s behaviour was “not a single isolated omission or error of judgement that could be quickly rectified, rather the misconduct involved repeated occasions of dishonest conduct over a period of six months, during which Dr Coventry had had a number of opportunities where he could have been honest”.
A medical practitioner’s tribunal also heard that Dr Coventry “put his own personal and financial interests ahead of his duties to the trust”.
At the hearing Coventry, represented by his father, argued that he had not had time to read HR policies on sick leave and believed there was no conflict of interest in doing private work while collecting taxpayer-funded sick pay.
Coventry left his job before he could be given a final written warning by Western Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.
The tribunal found that “the fact that he [Coventry] chose not to read the policies relating to sickness absence was not a defence to justify his ignorance of the policies that applied to him and each of his colleagues".
“He knew of the existence of the policies, he knew they applied to him, he knew he was required to read them and familiarise himself with them to ensure he amended his future conduct,” the tribunal found.
Following the tribunal, Coventry was suspended from practising for six months.