A TRAINEE doctor who worked at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Hospitals has admitted he asked colleagues to sign him in for teaching sessions he failed to attend.

And Dr Omar Sultan Chaudhry has also accepted he took an unauthorised day off while on a placement at Darwen Healthcare, a hearing of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service was told.

One doctor insisted he was one of at least two student GPs in his class who were getting other trainees to ‘sign in’ for them, the trib-unal heard.

Dr Chaudhry also receiv-ed pay he was not entitled to for missing the sessions. Each trainee GP had to complete 70per cent of them to complete their course.

He was caught out by an investigation launched by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust after concerns were raised by senior figures in the organisat-ion’s clinical education dep-artment.

The doctor told Linda Whitfield, head of clinical education, that around the time of the missed lectures there had been concerns about the health and well-being of a family member.

He confessed to asking his friends to ‘sign him in’ the attendance register, and knew he had done wrong.

Another trainee, Dr Mich-ael Dawber, said one of his friends had been having difficulties attending sess-ions because of work comm- itments on the accident and emergency ward.

And he did not believe it was fair he should be pen-alised – when Dr Chaudhry and a second doctor did not appear to be attending most lectures.

Giving evidence, Dr Chaud- hry said he had attended a number of the sessions in question, but accepted he could not provide dates.

He said: “I extremely reg-ret involving third parties in my dishonesty and app-reciate that this is an agg-ravating factor in my misconduct.”

The doctor has secured testimonials from a number of medics, including cons-ultants at the Royal Oldham Hospital and colleagues at his new surgery in Heyw-ood.

He has admitted failing to attend teaching sessions between September 2010 and July 2011, causing his signature to be entered on attendance registers when he was not there, and rec-eiving pay he was not ent-itled to.

The MPTS panel must now decide if his fitness to prac-tice is impaired.