Circumcision doctor in GMC investigation to quit NHS
- 17 November 2013
- From the section Health
A doctor under investigation by the General Medical Council after circumcising a child says he is resigning from the NHS.
Dr Muhamad Siddiqui, a hospital surgeon, had conditions imposed on his GMC registration after a complaint by the parents of the toddler.
The doctor, who carried out the procedure at the child's home, denies all the allegations.
Dr Siddiqui operated his own mobile circumcision service outside the NHS.
The GMC investigation was launched after a complaint by Kelly Braiha and her husband Ghali, from Littlehampton in West Sussex.
They claim their 23-month-old son Najem was left traumatised and suffered an infection because Dr Siddiqui, who works at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, did not take hygienic precautions.
Mrs Braiha says she believes home circumcisions should now be banned.
Dr Siddiqui is also accused of failing to obtain indemnity insurance for his private work and of carrying out regulated procedures without the necessary Care Quality Commission registration.
He denies all the allegations against him.
After an initial investigation by the GMC, the case has been referred to a fitness-to-practise hearing.
In the meantime, the GMC issued an interim order banning Dr Siddiqui from carrying out circumcisions anywhere other than in a hospital or clinical setting.
But when researchers from the BBC Radio 5live Investigates programme contacted him this week, days after the interim order came into force, he said he would be happy to carry out a circumcision at a private address in Southampton.
After the arrangements for the procedure were agreed, the programme contacted Dr Siddiqui again and told him the call had been made by a researcher posing as the father of a boy he wanted circumcised.
Dr Siddiqui said he wanted to continue performing home circumcisions but he was in the process of resigning from his NHS job and surrendering his GMC registration.
This would mean he would not be able to practise as a doctor but because of regulatory loopholes he would be able to carry on performing circumcisions privately.
Asked why he had agreed to carry out a home circumcision when there was a GMC order preventing him from doing so, he said he would not have carried out the procedure until his resignation had been formalised.
Dr Siddiqui said: 'I don't agree with the limitations the GMC has imposed on me. I don't want to be at odds with the GMC."
Healthcare workers have to be registered with the CQC if they want to perform home circumcisions but Dr Siddiqui felt he did not have to be.
Those who have no formal medical training, however, are not required to be registered with any of the regulators.
5live Investigates has also spoken to consultants who have told the programme they are concerned about the number of children they are seeing with medical complications after some home circumcisions.
They are now calling for tighter controls.
'Children have died'
Consultant surgeon Feilim Murphy, secretary of the British Association of Paediatric Urologists, said: "The biggest issue is there are a number of children who are circumcised by people who are not experienced and don't understand what is required, and there can be significant complications with that."
He said this could include bleeding, which is particularly dangerous for babies, pain, damage to the penis and loss of the top of the penis.
He added: "Unfortunately children have died in the last number of years in Britain and Ireland from circumcision-related complications.
"It does make sense that everybody should register, that everybody should be on the same playing field.
"It makes sense for the child it makes sense for the family it makes sense for everyone."
5live Investigates is broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live at 11am on Sunday, November 17.