Suspension ends for radiologist accused of sexual misconduct

A tribunal has determined that it is safe for a senior musculoskeletal radiologist from London to return to practice and has revoked a suspension order with immediate effect.

Dr. Prashant Sankaye, a consultant radiologist at Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service (NHS)  Trust, was suspended by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) for 12 months in October 2022 following alleged sexual misconduct involving a female patient. The focus of the investigation was an ultrasound exam of a woman's spine conducted by Sankaye on 20 July 2020, at the European Scanning Centre in Marylebone and his subsequent actions. Between February 2020 and October 2022, he was contracted to provide clinical advice as an external adviser for the Parliamentary Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO), which investigates complaints about UK government departments, other public organizations, and the NHS in England.

The MPTS found that Sankaye had failed to comply with several conditions put on his registration from 7 September 2020 to 3 October 2022 because of the alleged sexual misconduct. He did not provide the General Medical Council (GMC) with the required information for the PHSO as his contracting body, including details of his direct line manager. In addition, he did not ensure that the responsible officer or person with overall responsibility for clinical governance at the PHSO was notified of the conditions. Sankaye lodged an appeal against the decisions of the first tribunal hearing, but on 22 May 2023, the High Court dismissed his appeal. 

In his submission to last week’s tribunal hearing, which ran from 13 to 16 May, Sankaye admitted that he did not comply with the interim conditions on his registration, but tribunal chair Emma Gilberthorpe decided his actions were not dishonest. 

“Dr. Sankaye did not appear to be concealing his conditions or the allegation of sexual misconduct from his other employers, including those in which he held a patient-facing role and was under strict chaperone conditions,” she said, noting that his failures were “an oversight and a genuine mistake given that there was no patient contact, and he was offering his professional opinion on scans.” 

Gilberthorpe accepted that Sankaye was “overwhelmed with a complaint of a very serious nature and therefore his responses to the GMC focused on how to address the concerns that had arisen about his work with patients.” The tribunal also noted that Sankaye went to great lengths to comply with the chaperone conditions on his registration and provided volumes of evidence to that effect.

Sankaye qualified in medicine in 1998 at the University of Mumbai, India. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, in 2004 and a member of the Royal College of Radiologists in 2012, according to MPTS. His bio on the Imperial website states he works at Charing Cross Hospital and St Mary's Hospital, and his specialist areas include children's orthopedics and rheumatology, general practitioner services, hand and wrist clinic imaging, pain management, rheumatology, and vertebral compression fractures.

At the May 2024 tribunal hearing, Gilberthorpe was the legally qualified member of the MPTS panel. Hannah De Merode was the lay member, and Dr. Ranjana Rani was the medical representative. 

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