Oxford-educated junior doctor is banned from treating patients after being caught moonlighting for private cosmetic surgery clinic while off sick from his £35,000-a-year NHS job

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:7 min(s) read

  • Daniel Coventry promoted facelifts and anti-wrinkle injections on social media
  • He was suspended from medical practice for six months

An Oxford-educated junior doctor has been banned from treating patients after he was caught moonlighting at a private cosmetic surgery clinic whilst pocketing paid sickness leave from his £35,000-a-year NHS job.

Dr Daniel Coventry, 33, was supposed to be off work at the taxpayer’s expense with a suspected virus, but instead he was offering facial fillers, thread facelifts, and anti-wrinkle injections at a privately run clinic in Brighton.

Coventry was reported to bosses at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex, after concerns were raised due to the amount of sick leave he was taking. 

In 2019, a probe was launched and investigators found social media posts showing he had undertaken private aesthetic work at A New You and his own medical practise DC Aesthetics.

Coventry claimed he hadn’t had time to read the NHS policies on sick leave and said he thought there was ‘no conflict of interest’ in doing private work whilst off sick and ‘not rostered’ to work NHS shifts.

Dr Daniel Coventry (pictured) was supposed to be off work at the taxpayer's expense with a suspected virus, but instead he was offering facial fillers, thread facelifts, and anti-wrinkle injections at a privately run clinic in Brighton

Dr Daniel Coventry (pictured) was supposed to be off work at the taxpayer’s expense with a suspected virus, but instead he was offering facial fillers, thread facelifts, and anti-wrinkle injections at a privately run clinic in Brighton

He subsequently left his FY2 job before officials were able to give him a final written warning and he was reported to the General Medical Council.

Coventry was suspended from medical practice for six months after he was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, in December 2019. 

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The moonlighting occurred over a six-month period between April and October 2018 just a year after Coventry joined the Western Sussex NHS Trust. 

In the run-up to the ban he had been working full time in the private sector at the ‘A New You’ clinic in Brighton – where facelifts cost up to £8,000 and tummy tucks cost up to £6,000. 

A consultant surgeon had explained the HR procedures to Coventry and he was advised to access the hospital’s ‘StaffNet’ website to read the Trust’s policies regarding sick leave. 

In its determination Tribunal chairman Samantha Gray said: ‘Dr Coventry chose not to read the policies despite being pointed in the right direction by the Trust. 

‘The Tribunal also considered there was an element of deception as Dr Coventry did not tell the management of A New You, or any of his private clients, that he had been off sick from work.’

Miss Gray added: ‘The Tribunal took into consideration Mr Coventry’s submission that there had been no financial gain in this case. The Tribunal did not accept this. 

‘Dr Coventry would have been paid for his sick leave from the public purse whilst also being paid for private work.

‘Furthermore, the NHS Trust may have had to fund further staffing to cover Dr Coventry’s absence. This further highlights that there is a way to go before Dr Coventry understands the consequences of his actions.’

Coventry was represented by his own father, Stuart, during the Manchester hearing. 

Coventry claimed he hadn't had time to read the NHS policies on sick leave and said he thought there was 'no conflict of interest' in doing private work whilst off sick and 'not rostered' to work NHS shifts

Coventry claimed he hadn’t had time to read the NHS policies on sick leave and said he thought there was ‘no conflict of interest’ in doing private work whilst off sick and ‘not rostered’ to work NHS shifts

Coventry was suspended from medical practice for six months after he was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, in December 2019. Pictured: Worthing Hospital where he worked (Stock Image)

Coventry was suspended from medical practice for six months after he was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, in December 2019. Pictured: Worthing Hospital where he worked (Stock Image) 

Stuart Coventry said: ‘Dr Coventry was initially clear in his mind that he did not know he was not permitted to work whilst on paid sick leave and he presented evidence to make his point.

‘Instead of the week long induction most FY2 students received at the Trust, Dr Coventry received an informal HR induction and it was implied that he should find things out for himself. This was not sufficient and Dr Coventry was therefore ignorant of policies. In addition, Dr Coventry’s initial educational supervisor was unable to fulfil her role due to sickness.

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‘But he now understands he should have taken steps to know the Trust’s policies. He accepts it was his responsibility to read the policies as instructed and, had he done so, he could have asked any questions of an appropriate person regarding the meaning and application of the sickness policies. He accepts his previous behaviours were against policy and he apologised for this in full.’

Mr Coventry added: ‘At the time of the events, Dr Coventry had the mindset of a newly qualified FY2 doctor and was naïve and inexperienced. He also wishes to emphasise there was no intention of deceiving or defrauding his employer or causing them any loss.

‘He did not take sick leave specifically in order to undertake private work and he did not make any financial net gain. Had he been knowingly dishonest, he would not have posted about his work on social media. There was zero financial benefit to Dr Coventry.

‘Notwithstanding that, Dr Coventry accepts his actions had contravened Trust policy. He understands and accepts his naivety and errors of judgement, has apologised and learned the lessons from the events of 2018. There were no clinical concerns in this case, and there was never a risk of harm to the public or patients.’

Counsel for the GMC Chloe Fairley told the tribunal: ‘Whilst this is not a case in which patients were at unwarranted risk of harm, there are questions to be asked in relation to the reputation of the medical profession.

Coventry was reported to bosses at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex, after concerns were raised due to the amount of sick leave he was taking (Stock Image)

Coventry was reported to bosses at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex, after concerns were raised due to the amount of sick leave he was taking (Stock Image)

‘This 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. However, Dr Coventry has put his own personal and financial interests ahead of his duties to the Trust.’

Ms Fairley added: ‘At present, there is no real insight demonstrated by Dr Coventry and he is yet to take responsibility for his actions. Members of the public are entitled to place complete reliance upon a doctor’s honesty, and the relationship between the profession and the public is based on the expectation that doctors will act with integrity at all times.

‘Any insight that had appeared to be present at the Trust investigation in December 2019, when Dr Coventry stated that he accepted the investigation’s findings, has been undermined by his evidence during this hearing, when he stated that he had said those things merely for the sake of ‘moving things on’. ‘This was a case involving deliberate deceit within a professional context.’  

Coventry studied medicine at Oxford after graduating with a first class degree in Biology at the university of Brighton.




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