A doctor claims his contract was terminated after talking about PPE shortages to the press

5 May 2020
What was claimed

An NHS doctor who spoke out about the lack of PPE on the BBC has been suspended.

Our verdict

A doctor has told us his contract working at an NHS hospital was terminated because of comments he made to the BBC about a lack of PPE.

A post on Facebook claiming that an NHS doctor who spoke out about lack of PPE on the BBC has been suspended has been shared almost 75,000 times. 

The claim was also shared on Twitter.

This is what we know.

The post doesn’t mention the name of the doctor, or when they spoke to the BBC. However, it’s possible it is referring to Dr Asif Munaf who, until recently, worked at Lincoln County Hospital. 

On 3 April, the BBC published an interview with Dr Munaf. The interview mentions Dr Munaf’s recent promotion to consultant, and he is quoted as saying, among other things, that the PPE available to him and his colleagues was “exceedingly poor.”

Dr Munaf told us that on 3 April, the day the article was published, his contract (which he told us was meant to run for two months) was terminated. He said this was due to his comments in this article. 

We asked United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust whether this was true and a spokesperson told us they could not comment on the detail of individual contracts.

The trust also told us that Dr Munaf was not directly employed by the trust, but through an agency, though it could not locate which. 

When this piece was originally published on 5 May Dr Munaf told us that he was still working as a locum doctor and had not been suspended from working as a doctor. The medical register shows that Dr Munaf was a registered doctor with a license to practice at the time. He was then suspended on 8 June and the suspension was lifted on 25 November. 

Dr Munaf also appeared on an episode of Panorama that focused on the claims of PPE shortages. This did not air until 27 April, after Dr Munaf’s contract was terminated.

We tried to make contact with the other doctors featured in that episode. Dr Sonia Adesara told Full Fact that neither she nor Dr Irial Eno had been suspended, though we were not able to reach Dr Eno directly. 

We also contacted the Miriam Primary Care Group in the Wirral which is led by Dr Abhi Mantgani, a GP featured in the show. It confirmed to us that he still works there.  

Panorama also released an episode focusing on Coventry hospital the week before the episode on PPE. Coventry Hospital confirmed to us that none of its staff had been suspended following the episode. 

Update 7 September 2020

This article was updated to reflect the fact that Dr Munaf was suspended on 8 June.

Update 21 December 2020

This piece was updated to reflect that Dr Munaf's suspension was lifted on 25 November.

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