Home London News Doctor Aldin ‘refused to help suicidal patient’

Doctor Aldin ‘refused to help suicidal patient’

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Radhwan Aldin

Doctor Radhwan Aldin, of Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, ‘refused to help a suicidal patient’ who stood atop of the hospital and dared to jump from 20 feet, a tribunal heard. He was accused of refusing to assist in an emergency situation.

A patient, awaiting the care of the psychiatric team at roughly 10:55am on August 15, 2021, asked to go outside for a cigarette, but instead fled to an area outside the front of the hospital of a 20 feet height, and threatened to jump.

A Metropolitan Police officer who was assisting the London Ambulance Service attempted to negotiate his surrender with the help of a nurse, but the patient insisted and said he would only come down if he spoke to a doctor after seeing Radhwan Aldin by the hospital doors. The nurse raced over to get his assistance.

Radhwan Aldin was by Northwick Park Hospital's doors
Doctor Radhwan Aldin was by Northwick Park Hospital’s doors to get a better signal on his phone //GETTY

The tribunal heard how Aldin stopped the nurse and questioned her professionalism, station “you’re a nurse and should know much better than this”, and disregarded the patient, arguing they need to be booked into the A&E department to be seen.

The police officer joined the nurse and explained the urgency of the situation, and Aldin continued to refused and turned back to his phone.

In the end, another doctor assisted the patient thus they were able to prevent him from jumping. The police officer decided Aldin’s actions needed to be referred to the medical watch, the General Medical Council over concerns it was his duty to help.

On Monday, March 27th, the tribunal was published, and the GMC representative argued Aldin’s actions demonstrated a clear ‘risk to patient safety’.

The tribunal collectively criticised his invalid assumption of the situation, adding: “It would have been doubly obvious to Dr Aldin that the situation was an emergency, given that not one, but two public servants were asking him for assistance. The tribunal was also satisfied that neither the nurse of police officer had an ‘axe to grind’ with Dr Aldin.”

However, the tribunal did not deem his actions to constitute misconduct. They deemed it to be a ‘bizarre’ breakdown in communication, whereby Aldin mistakenly did not understand the gravity of the situation.

In a witness statement, Dr Aldin wrote: “I thought the patient was in the back of an ambulance and therefore safe. [Nurse B] did not explain the situation clearly and the risk of the patient jumping over the barrier. [Nurse B] was nervous but having quickly become upset with me, did not then communicate the situation clearly.

“She said ‘all what I asked from you was to come and speak to patient’. At that time and because of her attitude I did not want to listen to any further nasty words from her so I said I am not going to say anything else to you, then a young man in black uniform with no badge and without introducing himself chipped in and start rudely asking if I will come to see the patient or not and I heard [Nurse B] saying to him ‘don’t try with him, he is just rude’.

“I felt so incontinent and I left the scene back to the emergency department pit stop area and the man followed me asking what is my name and threatening that he will put a complaint against me that I was not helpful to them and that I should responded to their request rather than use my mobile.”

Radhwan Aldin apologised for not providing care to the patient
Radhwan Aldin said he was ‘sorry’ he did not provide care to the patient //GETTY

Both the officer and the nurse assert they comprehensively informed Aldin that the patient was threatening to commit suicide. The doctor claims to have gone to the entrance of the hospital to get better reception to deal with a different medical matter. The tribunal accepted this, and accept that he had every reason to be “momentarily distracted”.

In the report, the tribunal concluded: “For a very short period of time, Dr Aldin was not listening properly, was distracted and misunderstood the emergency situation because of miscommunication by all parties, and became entrenched in his position. The tribunal determined therefore that, in this particular and unusual case, Dr Aldin’s ‘refusal’ to assist in this situation could not amount to any form of misconduct.”

Dr Aldin told the tribunal he was deeply apologetic for not providing the deteriorating patient with care, and accepted his failure to adequately listen and understand the gravity of the situation. He evidenced this by referring to the significant amount of time he works over to go above and beyond for his patients.

The tribunal report added: “We were not persuaded that it was Dr Aldin’s duty alone to have seen the patient…it considered that it is not necessarily the case, where a patient points to a doctor and says that they want to see that doctor, that the patient’s wishes are paramount. Further, and taking account of the significant number of testimonials which show Dr Aldin to be a caring and considerate doctor, it is clear that this refusal to become involved was not motivated by disinterest in the patient but by a desire that hospital protocols be followed.”

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