Drink-driving GP who refused to give a blood sample due to ‘fear of needles’ admits misconduct

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A drink-driving GP who refused to give a blood sample due to his ‘fear of needles’ after he was caught four times the limit has admitted misconduct at a tribunal. 

Michael Farrell, from Teesside, appeared before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing yesterday.

The case was listed as ‘impairment by reason of a conviction or caution’ before tribunal chair Robin Ince, Dr Bryn Davies and Bronwen Cooper.

During the virtual hearing, the GP admitted he had been convicted last year for failing to provide a specimen of blood for a laboratory test. 

Michael Farrell (pictured above, last year), from Thornaby, Teesside, appeared before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing yesterday and admitted misconduct

Michael Farrell (pictured above, last year), from Thornaby, Teesside, appeared before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing yesterday and admitted misconduct

Farrell refused to give a blood sample when pulled over for drink driving and blew four times the legal limit during a roadside breath test in Ingleby Barwick.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court was previously told that Farrell had refused the test due to a ‘fear of needles’.

He had argued a nurse had been ‘misled’ by police, claiming he had been wrongly denied chance to provide a urine sample and that the process to gain his informed consent had not been properly followed.

But magistrates found him guilty after a trial and imposed a 12 week jail term was suspended for 12 months.

Farrell was also told to carry out a drink impaired drivers’ programme for 15 days, carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and was disqualified from driving for 42 months.

Alongside the suspended sentence, Farrell, of Thornaby, was also ordered to pay £620 costs and £115 charges.

Farrell, pictured last year, refused to give a blood sample when pulled over for drink driving and blew four times the legal limit during a roadside breath test in Ingleby Barwick

Farrell, pictured last year, refused to give a blood sample when pulled over for drink driving and blew four times the legal limit during a roadside breath test in Ingleby Barwick

The GP, a then partner in a Stockton-based NHS practice and a ‘regional GP’ for Virgin Healthcare, had conditions placed on his medical registration by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, while the General Medical Council (GMC) carried out an investigation.

The tribunal is yet to determine if the GP’s fitness to practise is impaired because his conviction.

The case has been listed for four days.

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