A doctor who managed to keep his medical licence despite a drug driving conviction told a tribunal that he was 'deeply ashamed of his actions'.

Dr Faisal Nawaz, who qualified in 2017 and was in year two of his foundation training with the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, was convicted in 2019 for one count of dangerous driving and two counts of driving under the influence of cocaine.

Nawaz managed to avoid a custodial sentence but as a result of his conviction was asked to attend a tribunal in which his fitness to practise as a doctor would be assessed.

The tribunal, which took place at the start of April, heard that because of his arrest and initial court appearances, Nawaz had been absent from work since February 14 2019 - except for a spell in intensive care in 2020 - and had therefore not kept up with his medical skills and knowledge, impacting his ability to practice.

The tribunal determined that because of this and because of his convictions, his fitness to practise was impaired and ordered conditions to be placed upon his registration, including the allocation of a supervisor during his phased return to work.

Nawaz stated that he wanted to continue his medical career and told the tribunal: "I desperately want to be able to put these last few years behind me and return to a feeling of being proud of myself, of my family being proud of me and of being able to serve patients."

He told the hearing that he was 'deeply ashamed of his actions' and the fact of the convictions and understood that such behaviour was

unacceptable for a doctor and would 'undermine public confidence in the profession'.

Nawaz stated that he did not wish for the public to lose trust in their doctors and very much recognised the danger that his actions caused to himself and others and was desperately sorry for this.

Blackburn doctor keeps medical licence despite cocaine driving conviction

In February 2019, Nawaz, from Reedley, had been driving his car at more than 50mph in a 30mph zone.

A police officer requested he pull over but Nawaz failed to stop and a high speed pursuit commenced through residential streets in Colne, causing other drivers to make emergency stops to avoid the car.

He was arrested for dangerous driving and driving under the influence of a controlled drug and sentenced at Burnley Crown Court in November 2019.

During the tribunal, on April 6, he spoke about the dangerous manner in which he drove to try to avoid the police and stated he was 'the only person responsible for his conduct, that he was remorseful and wished he had not done it'.

Nawaz’s registration as a doctor is now subject to a number of conditions.

A spokesperson for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are awaiting confirmation of the formal outcome from the GMC and will act on their recommendations accordingly.

“The Trust will fully support any criteria set to facilitate Dr Nawaz’s return to work and training where applicable, as directed by Health Education England North West and the GMC.

"The safety of our patients is our priority and at no stage will this be compromised.”