Italian-trained radiologist struck off register for serious misconduct

2020 09 14 22 38 7832 Gavel 400

Radiologist Dr. Anthony Carmine Donadio has been removed from the U.K. medical register after being listed for 20 years. He was suspended for 12 months in April 2020 by a medical practitioners' tribunal for dishonestly working in breach of imposed conditions, but the General Medical Council (GMC) has now appealed successfully in the High Court.

Donadio's name was erased from the register on 3 December 2021 after a "Fitness to Practise" panel hearing, states the GMC in its entry for Donadio. He joined the Specialist Register for clinical radiology on 5 December 2001, having qualified as a radiologist by passing the Italian state examination at the University of Naples, GMC noted.

According to Donadio's Facebook page (under the name of A.C. Donadio), he was born on 23 November 1966 in Yonkers, New York. He undertook his radiology training at Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia della SUN, Naples, Italy, and completed it in 1992. Donadio lists his job as a former consultant radiologist at Lewisham University Hospital in south-east London, and says he is now living in Kiev, Ukraine.

Donadio worked as a radiologist in A.DONADIO MEDICAL SERVICES LTD between 12 April 2007 and 24 November 2015, according to a listing for him on the U.K. Company Director Check website. He gave an apartment in Blackpool, Lancashire, as his address.

Under investigation

Donadio first came to the attention of the authorities in June 2017, when London North West Hospitals -- the National Health Service (NHS) trust employing him as a locum consultant -- was worried that he was signaling a high number of false positives in his analyses of radiology results, the BMJ reported in its news article posted on 6 December 2021.

London North West Hospitals referred him for a GMC performance assessment, which found his work "unacceptable" in terms of clinical management. His assessors' recommended he should not be allowed to work as a consultant but only at the level of a junior trainee, dealing with patients only under direct supervision, the BMJ explained.

"This assessment led to a July 2018 hearing of the interim orders tribunal, which set conditions under which Donadio could continue to practise, reflecting the assessors' recommendations," the BMJ noted. "But within days of that hearing, which he did not attend, Donadio worked eight days at Kettering General Hospital as an unsupervised consultant. He then left for Ukraine, where he has family."

Donadio illegally worked at Kettering General Hospital in 2018 as an unsupervised consultant. Photo courtesy of Michael Foley / Alamy Stock Photo.Donadio illegally worked at Kettering General Hospital in 2018 as an unsupervised consultant. Photo courtesy of Michael Foley / Alamy Stock Photo.

The GMC discovered his breach of the conditions and brought a misconduct case against him before a medical practitioners tribunal, which took place in February 2020. Donadio did not attend, the BMJ said.

"The tribunal found the breach proved, and sanctioned Donadio with a 12-month suspension. But the GMC considered the punishment inadequate and appealed to the High Court, arguing that the tribunal had not followed the written sanctions guidance which indicates appropriate penalties for different types and levels of misconduct," the BMJ reported.

The High Court allowed the appeal, and Justice Collins Rice rejected the punishment and sent the case back for a second medical practitioners' tribunal hearing, which has now concluded with Donadio's erasure from the register, noted the BMJ, adding that this time Donadio was present and represented at the hearing.

"He told the tribunal that he was ashamed of his conduct, and he apologised to the public, the profession, and his employers," the report said. "He voluntarily disclosed further dishonesty of which the tribunal had been unaware, acknowledging that days before his conditions were imposed, he had sent emails to the GMC claiming to be in Ukraine, which was untrue. In fact he had been in England for work and was working on the day that the interim orders tribunal imposed conditions."

Donadio admitted having known about that tribunal, but he maintained that he had not learned of its results, suggesting that a family member might have deleted the email notifying him, the BMJ reported.

The GMC argued that he was still not fully accepting his dishonest conduct and that his remediation went no further than some reading about dishonesty. Without full acknowledgment of fault, the sanction's guidance pointed to erasure, it claimed

According to BMJ, "The tribunal treated the further episode of dishonesty disclosed by Donadio as "a seriously aggravating factor" in deciding on the sanction. His attempts to remediate were "extremely limited," said tribunal chair Nessa Sharkett, and he had "made no effort whatsoever to establish the outcome" of the hearing that imposed conditions on him.

Donadio abused his position of trust and his conduct did not justify patient trust in him and the public's trust in the profession, the tribunal concluded.

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