A DOCTOR who mistakenly prescribed a fatal dose of medication to a pensioner has been struck off.

Dr Prashen Pillay, pictured right, will be permanently removed from the General Medical Council register following a hearing this week.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel upheld several charges against Dr Pillay which involved incidents in Sussex and other parts of the country between 2010 and 2014.

Joan Dixon died of poisoning after Dr Pillay wrote milligrams instead of micrograms on her prescription while she was being treated at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

Mrs Dixon, 77, of High Street, Findon, near Worthing, had mental health problems and was sectioned in 2010. She fell and broke her hip in the Orchard ward of the Harold Kidd Unit in Chichester in September that year.

She was treated in Ashling ward of St Richard’s Hospital where she was found to have an irregular heartbeat, a swollen calf and bladder problems.

Dr Pillay was supposed to prescribe 250 micrograms of digoxin, a drug which regulates the heart, but wrote milligrams instead.

It was later found that five 500-microgram containers of digoxin had been used on Mrs Dixon – equivalent to 2.5 milligrams.

Mrs Dixon had a heart attack and was taken to A&E but could not be revived.

A pathologist recorded the cause of her death as “digoxin toxicity”.

The panel was also told about a second incident at the hospital in 2010 involving Patient B, who was elderly and diabetic.

Dr Pillay prescribed a dose of Novo-rapid Insulin that was “incorrect, excessive and potentially dangerous”.

He was suspended from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust in October 2010 and did not return to work at the trust.

The GMC gave an interim order to temporarily suspend Dr Pillay from the medical register in 2010.

Despite this, the panel was told Dr Pillay attended St George’s Hospital in London in 2014 and told staff he was undertaking an official clinical attachment there. He also assisted in an operation.

He also became involved in the treatment of a patient who had collapsed in Shepherd’s Bush, London, telling police he was an anaesthetist and paramedics he was an A&E doctor.

Dr Pillay was also found to have lied to the Durham University medical school that he had secured a foundation year post.

The panel was told Dr Pillay has also been convicted for offences including destroying or damaging property, threatening behaviour, drunk and disorderly behaviour and urinating on the floor of a supermarket.

An expert told the hearing Dr Pillay’s prescription errors at St Richard’s “fell seriously below the standard normally expected” of a first-year doctor and amounted to serious misconduct.

The panel’s report stated that Dr Pillay’s carelessness and lack of awareness when writing and prescribing put the two patients at unwarranted risk, as his errors played a part in each patient being administered an overdose of potentially harmful drugs.

It also said he abused his position the trust placed in him as a doctor in order to gain access, whilst his registration was suspended, to an operating theatre at the hospital and to the collapsed patient.

It also found his actions involving the collapsed patient and the medical school were “dishonest and calculated”.

It concluded: “Dr Pillay has shown no insight into the seriousness of his actions or the potential consequences thereof.

“In all the circumstances, the panel has determined that it must direct that Dr Pillay’s name should be erased from the medical register.”