NHS doctor who lied about his age and killed a patient is jailed

Patient tells of her agony at hands of killer doctor, 85: NHS medic who lied about his real age is jailed for three years over death of patient in botched procedure

  • Dr Isyaka Mamman, 85, had claimed to be 11 years younger to avoid retirement 
  • He botched a procedure on patient Shahida Parveen, 48, who later bled to death
  • In 2015, aged 79, he botched the same procedure on Margaret Helliwell
  •  She said she had been left in agony as a result of Mamman’s clinical  malpractice

An elderly  doctor who killed a patient in a botched procedure after lying about his age to avoid retirement was jailed for three years for manslaughter yesterday.

Dr Isyaka Mamman, 85, who had pretended to be 11 years younger, bungled a bone marrow extraction so badly that Shahida Parveen bled to death.

Last night, a patient told of her anger that Mamman was allowed to continue practising after his real age came to light.

In 2015, Margaret Helliwell was left in agony during an identical biopsy by the haematologist, then 79, who shoved his knee into the grandmother’s back to force a needle into her hip with such pressure that the device bent.

Dr Isyaka Mamman, 85, pictured, had lied about his age to avoid retirement, Manchester Crown Court has heard

Mamman, pictured, was convicted of manslaughter following the death of Shahida Parveen at Royal Oldham Hospital

She complained, and says a consultant told her that Mamman should retire and would no longer be performing such biopsies. But that did not happen, and in 2018 he attempted to take a similar sample from Mrs Parveen, 48.

This time he plunged the needle in at the wrong point, puncturing the sac around her heart. As she died at Royal Oldham Hospital, her husband shouted: ‘He killed her!’

At Manchester Crown Court yesterday, Mrs Justice Yip said it was ‘hard to understand’ how Mamman had been allowed to carry on working as she gave him a sentence that – ironically – she said took into account his advancing age and ‘frail’ appearance.

Mrs Helliwell, 81, told of her horror at the missed opportunity to stop him.

She added: ‘He was pummelling away so hard that the needle bent. I was screaming in pain, I was being sick and felt dizzy.

‘I feel so sorry for the lady’s family. I am also angry that she went in for the same procedure as I did and she died. He shouldn’t have been allowed to continue practising because he had been caught lying.’

She said that when she read about Mrs Parveen’s death, ‘I just thought, “That could have been me”.’ But her terrifying experience was not even the only such incident of 2015.

That same year, a bone marrow biopsy by Mamman led to a patient suffering internal bleeding and a heart attack. The unnamed man was left permanently disabled, and won a negligence claim.

At the time, the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – which ran Royal Oldham Hospital at the time – was facing a string of scandals.

Despite concerns over his ability, Mamman – then 81 – was allowed to perform the same procedure on Mrs Parveen in September 2018.

However, he was only working in the NHS due to what the judge called the ‘astonishing’ decision to rehire him after he was caught lying about his age.

Born in rural Nigeria, he arrived in Britain in 1965 and began working as a haematologist.

But 20 years ago, managers at Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent noticed a discrepancy. Mamman, who had said he was born in 1936, was using a Nigerian passport that showed a birth year of 1941 – slicing five years off his true age.

Mamman has performing a biopsy on Mrs Parveen, 48, at the Royal Oldham Hospital when he made the critical mistake which claimed her life

In about 2001, Mamman adopted an even later birth year – 1947 – which he relied upon for naturalisation as a British citizen.

That made him a whole 11 years younger than the age he gave when he arrived in Britain. This fiction let him avoid compulsory retirement that year under the rules then in force upon reaching 65.

It would have meant he had started medical training in Nigeria in 1958, when he would have been ten. When challenged, Mamman explained he had been ‘very brilliant’, a medical tribunal heard. The General Medical Council was unimpressed – banning him from practising for 12 months.

By now, he had lost his job in Kent over poor performance and was at Royal Oldham Hospital.

He duly lost this post – but on the expiry of his suspension in 2006 he was rehired, despite his true age being almost 70.

The discrepancy was apparently down to the panel that allowed him back on to the medical register accepting a year of birth in 1943.

He had initially failed to take a sample from Mrs Parveen’s hip.

He then tried her breastbone – a technique considered dangerous because of its proximity to the heart.

Ignoring her husband Khizar Mahmood’s protests, and using the wrong needle, he made several attempts before piercing her heart sac, causing massive bleeding.

Jailing him after he admitted gross negligence manslaughter, Mrs Justice Yip said it was ‘hard to understand’ why his previous botched biopsies had not led to his retirement, adding: ‘Equally, it is difficult to see why… you were allowed to continue to work.’

Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon called for more answers from Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, which has run Royal Oldham Hospital since 2016. ‘We need to understand why the trust did not do more,’ he said.

The trust said the procedure that killed Mrs Parveen could now only be carried out under supervision by a consultant.

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