Oops. Bit of a slip-up, Ma’am.
A consultant surgeon who was appointed an MBE in last week’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for “services to patient safety” is a serial fraudster who has harmed patients and was struck off the medical register in 2002 for gross professional misconduct.
Lots of red faces around the Palace or Number 10 or whichever place it is that does the choosing. “I say, Clive, did we really give a gong to this frightful bounder who got himself struck off all that time ago? Time for us to bugger off to Melbourne right about now, don’t you agree?”
It appears the Cabinet Office Honours Committee, which selects candidates for the awards, was unaware of Dr Banerjee’s background. In 2000 he was involved in one of the most notorious cases of research misconduct in recent medical history. He was found guilty of falsifying a scientific paper which had been published in 1990 but was covered up for a decade.
He was awarded a degree by the University of London and made a professor by the Royal College of Surgeons based on the fraudulent research. He was later suspended from the medical register and his co-author, Professor Tim Peters, was also found guilty of serious professional misconduct for his part in the cover up.
Two years later Dr Banerjee was again found guilty of serious professional misconduct for financial dishonesty and was struck off the medical register. He had misled patients about the length of NHS waiting lists to induce them to go private and had sought payment for treatments not performed.
That…is not nice.
Peter Wilmshurst, a cardiologist at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and a campaigner on medical research fraud, said: “Mr Banerjee did awful things and only eight years after getting back on to the medical register he is rewarded with an MBE.
“If you have got a record of misconduct going back to the late 1980s, you would have to do something very remarkable in the next eight years to deserve an award. But I have not heard of him doing anything.”
Bit of a snafu, Ma’am, if you’ll pardon the expression.