UK doctor in line for top job despite shaky past

Dr Richard Seamark was being considered for a $400,000 role at Cairns Hospital.
Dr Richard Seamark was being considered for a $400,000 role at Cairns Hospital.

QUEENSLAND Health has been forced to reconsider a UK doctor's application for a plum role in Cairns Hospital after reports surfaced that a former patient in the UK was left locked in a room for weeks.

The Courier-Mail understands that Dr Richard Wayne Seamark was being considered for the $400,000 role of clinical director of mental health of Cairns Hospital.

This is despite his work history - which is available online - revealing he was banned as a company director for seven years in the UK for failing to "adequately safeguard patients' wellbeing and safety".

After questions by The Courier-Mail yesterday, Queensland Health said Dr Seamark's appointment "had not been finalised" and denied a contract had been signed.

Cairns Hospital. Picture: Stewart McLean
Cairns Hospital. Picture: Stewart McLean

Cairns Hinterland HHS chief executive Clare Douglas confirmed Dr Seamark had applied for the role, but refused to confirm whether he had been made a formal offer or was still in contention.

"A final decision in relation to the employment of Dr Seamark has not been made," Ms Douglas said.

"Dr Seamark advised the Health Service of these matters in the UK and the Health Service suspended the recruitment process to enable Dr Seamark to respond. He has fully co-operated with the due diligence process that Queensland Health applies to all potential employees."

While running Care+ in the UK, multiple complaints were made about the quality of care, including the failure to report serious incidents such as medicine errors, locking one patient in their room for several weeks and expired medical equipment.

The Insolvency Service in the UK said Dr Seamark was a "dodgy psychiatrist" who had been banned for jeopardising patient safety, and described his behaviour as "appalling''.

"The failure by Dr Seamark to adequately safeguard patients' wellbeing and safety presented a significant risk to vulnerable patients, staff and the public,'' they wrote.

After his company went into voluntary liquidation on March 17 last year, Dr Seamark moved to Queensland.

Opposition Health spokeswoman Ros Bates said the blunder had brought Queensland Health back into "the dark old days".

"A simple Google search would've revealed this doctor's history," she said. "You have to do your due diligence."

Topics:  foreign doctor

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