Racist and 'aggressive' Teesside doctor suspended over 'offensive slurs and intimidating actions'

The locum doctor was working at the University of North Tees Hospital when the concerns were first raised
-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)

A Teesside doctor has been suspended after he referred to an Asian colleague as 'y*****' before challenging him to a fight in an appraisal meeting.

"Aggressive" Dr Herwig Thibaut was racist towards two of his colleagues at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton in 2021. The Darlington doctor joined the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust as a consultant radiologist in September 2011 but was subject of a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) misconduct hearing in May.

During an incident on July 26, 2021, whilst in conversation with Dr A, he referred to Dr B as a 'p***' doctor. Dr Thibaut admitted the offence along with several others.

During the less than glowing appraisal on December 23, 2021, the doctor was questioned on his performance. The tribunal heard the doctor was "scowling" and approached his colleague with raised hands 'balled into fists'. He shouted "that's what you y***** people are like." He admitted the allegation.

Dr Thibaut then asked the consultant "do you want to fight me?" and then told him "go on then, call security". The tribunal heard the consultant tried to call for help but Dr Thibaut cancelled the calls.

Giving evidence, the consultant said during the appraisal the radiologist was "very tense" and Dr Thibaut’s voice and tone were becoming louder and increasingly threatening. The doctor said he felt physically threatened during the incident and said he asked Dr Thibaut to leave his office on 'about 10 occasions' before he eventually did.

In Dr Thibaut’s evidence, he said he can easily become agitated and frustrated. He accepted that during the appraisal meeting he said the racist words "that’s what you y***** people are like". He said that he deeply regrets the remark which he said was made "in the heat of the moment".

The report said that Dr Thibaut's actions amounted to misconduct and he was aggressive and intimidating towards his colleague. The report states: "The tribunal was very concerned by Dr Thibaut’s racist comments and the fact that they occurred some months apart on two occasions. The comments made were overtly discriminatory and offensive.

"They represented unacceptable language from a medical practitioner in any context, and particularly so in the workplace. Dr Thibaut’s actions breached a fundamental tenet of the medical profession to treat others fairly, equally and without discrimination. He accepted that, at the time he made the comments, he knew they were racist. The tribunal was also concerned by Dr Thibaut’s aggressive and intimidating actions toward Dr C."

The tribunal heard that Dr Thibaut is of previous good character, having been in practice since 1986 – some 38 years - and has never before been required to appear before his regulator, either in the UK, Dubai or Belgium. The doctor was suspended for three months. Teesside Live has contacted North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust for comment.