A psychiatrist defrauded the NHS out of £16,000 by doing private work while he was supposedly off sick – and by using a Warwick hospital’s facilities to see his private patients.
Dr Nawshad Suleman, who was based at St Michael’s psychiatric hospital in Warwick, had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of fraud.
But just days before he was due to stand trial he changed his pleas to guilty on two of the charges, and the remaining allegation was allowed to lie on the court file.
Suleman, 65, of Beaminster Road, Solihull, was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
The disgraced consultant, who has repaid the £16,074 he made from his dishonesty, was also ordered to pay £2,800 costs.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Power said that Suleman had worked as a consultant psychiatrist with the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust since 2000.
But from April 2013 he was repeatedly declared unfit for work because of stress, and there were a succession of sick notes between then and November that year.
And over that period he continued to be paid, receiving a total of £13,331 in sick pay.
But it was discovered that at a time he was supposedly too ill to work, he was actually undertaking privately paid consultations, including providing reports for a company called Premex on patients referred to him.
Sentencing Suleman, Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC told him: “You have now lost your good name, and you have brought shame on you and your family by virtue of your dishonesty.
“There are many people who have stepped forward to write references on your behalf who have known you for many years and have known you do so many good works at a cost to yourself and those people cannot believe what you have done.