Trainee doctor who faked prescription fights to save her career

Trainee doctor who faked prescription fights to save her career

May 14, 2019 By mediabest

‘High flying’ trainee doctor, 28, who faked a prescription to get antibiotics for a mystery illness sobs at medical tribunal as she fights to save her career

  • Dr Ashleigh Williams, 28, allegedly used a colleague’s name to get Amoxicillin
  • The 28-year-old, from Lancashire, was charged with dishonesty and misconduct 
  • Has now appeared at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester 

Dr Ashleigh Williams, 28, (pictured outside the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester) is charged with dishonesty and misconduct. She is is alleged to have used a colleague’s name in an illicit attempt to acquire Amoxicillin tablets

A ‘high-flying’ trainee doctor is battling to save her career after she faked a prescription in order to get antibiotics for a mystery illness.  

Dr Ashleigh Williams, 28, sobbed as she appeared at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester yesterday charged with dishonesty and misconduct. 

The GP trainee, who works at Burnley General Hospital in Lancashire, is alleged to have used a colleague’s name in an illicit attempt to acquire Amoxicillin tablets.

She falsely claimed they were for her younger sister, as she was ’embarrassed’ because of a medical problem she claimed to need the prescription for.   

She was caught out after the pharmacist became suspicious and contacted the prescribing doctor who could not recall signing off the prescription.   

Health chiefs investigated the incident but declined to take further action against Williams. 

She was subsequently advised to report herself to the General Medical Council and was ordered to face a disciplinary hearing.

Appearing at the tribunal yesterday, she said: ‘I did something really stupid but I didn’t believe that at the time. 

‘I just thought it was a prescription for antibiotics but it has had a massive impact on myself and my confidence and I think it has been a huge strain on my relationship. 

‘It was completely out of character – I don’t know what was going through my head at the time.

‘The biggest thing was lying about it as well. I shouldn’t have done that – there are so many different ways I could have dealt with it.’


The incident occurred on March 26 last year after Williams (left and right) attended a pharmacy and falsely claimed her younger sister needed more antibiotics as she had lost them

Williams told the hearing that she has since tried to make up for her behaviour, and is aware her actions have impacted upon the prescribing doctor as well.    

She said: ‘I have known her for quite a period of time and I have worked with her. It must be really difficult for her to be able to trust me again as a doctor. I have lost her trust.’

The incident occurred on March 26 last year after Williams attended a pharmacy and falsely claimed her younger sister needed more antibiotics as she had lost them.

Miss Ceri Widdett, a lawyer for the General Medical Council, said: ‘She signed the form with her own signature and wrote her colleagues name without informing her and then took the prescription to the out patient pharmacy. 

‘When questioned about it by the pharmacist she failed to inform the pharmacist that they were in fact for herself and she said it was for her sister who had lost her antibiotics.’

The trainee GP (pictured with her partner) claimed she ‘felt guilty’ and ‘on edge’ as she was sat waiting for the prescription having realised the implications

Miss Widdett told the hearing that Williams had admitted not telling the truth twice, and that she had misled the pharmacist. 

And the doctor claimed she ‘felt guilty’ and ‘on edge’ as she was sat waiting for the prescription having realised the implications.  

Miss Widdett continued: ‘She doesn’t dispute the allegations and rather she informed her GP educational supervisor who advised her to self report.

‘She says she had written the prescription with her details and then she just thought of the first person who came into her head.

‘It was the on-call doctor whom she had had no contact with for about a year and she signed the prescription with her own signature.’

The hearing was told how the prescribing doctor had met Williams in 2013 during their foundation training but they didn’t work directly together. 

Then on March 26 she received a bleep from Williams, who told her about the antibiotics she allegedly needed for her sister.    

Miss Widdett explained: ‘Williams said she wanted to write the prescription herself but didn’t have her sister’s NHS number so wrote in her own name instead. 

‘The prescription was disposed of and Dr Williams apologised and said she hadn’t told the whole truth.

‘Which was that the prescription was for herself and that she was embarrassed because of a medical problem she needed the prescription for.’


The hearing was informed of Williams’ previous good character. And her educational supervisor Dr Mark Dziobon said she is a ‘high flyer’ and ‘one of the best’

The hearing was told Williams has undertaken several hospital placements and there are no concerns about her posing a risk to patient safety. 

An internal inquiry at the hospital concluded Williams had realised her mistake and that it was a ‘momentary lapse of judgement.’

William’s sister Heather told the hearing: ‘She has always wanted to be a doctor everything she has done was to push herself to achieve that.

‘She rang me up and she was devastated. She was so ashamed and remorseful. It was completely out of character for her.’ 

William’s educational supervisor Dr Mark Dziobon said: ‘Professionally she is a high flyer one of the best I have had and I say that without any reservation at all. 

‘From the very beginning I would say she was immediately insightful and remorseful. She carried that remorse and it has had a massive impact on her.’ 

The hearing continues. 

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