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I was stupid for possessing drugs, doctor admits at hearing

PUBLISHED: 15:53 01 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:21 07 September 2010

Dr Sam Nightingale

Dr Sam Nightingale

A doctor from St Mary s Hospital caught with drugs at the Glastonbury music festival has received a formal warning. Dr Sam Nightingale, 28, was given a police caution after he was found with ecstasy and marijuana at the festival in 2007. At the time he wo

A doctor from St Mary's Hospital caught with drugs at the Glastonbury music festival has received a formal warning.

Dr Sam Nightingale, 28, was given a police caution after he was found with ecstasy and marijuana at the festival in 2007. At the time he worked in Manchester but has since moved to St Mary's where he works as a neurology registrar.

Appearing before the General Medical Council last week, he admitted: "It was an immensely stupid thing to have done."

At the disciplinary hearing, the GMC issued an official reprimand. The panel told Dr Nightingale his behaviour fell below the high standards required of a doctor and risked bringing the profession into disrepute.

But it said it was a one-off incident unlikely to be repeated.

The doctor was found with the Class A drug and cannabis on June 23 last year. He admitted having used some of the cannabis, but denied taking any ecstasy. He offered to take tests to prove this but they were never carried out.

GMC panel chairwoman Sheleen McCormack said: "You are a young doctor at the start of your career. From the beginning you have been open and honest about the caution and the circumstances surrounding it. You acted on impulse. It was an isolated incident more than a year ago.

"You have not taken or bought any form of illegal drugs before or since and will not do so in the future. Furthermore, it has not been suggested and no evidence has been adduced that your actions put patients at risk."

A spokeswoman for Imperial Trust, which oversees St Mary's Hospital, said they had been informed of the caution when he joined the hospital in August 2007.

"We are satisfied this incident in his private life is behind him and has no impact on the quality of care he provides to patients," she added.

The police caution will remain on his record for five years.

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