Sheffield doctor branded ‘Islamophobic’ for asking surgeon to remove her headscarf

The Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

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A SHEFFIELD hospital consultant is being investigated over claims he made about a Muslim surgeon wearing a headscarf.

Dr Vladislav Rogozov, a consultant anaesthetist, is being investigated by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust over a blog in which he said he confronted the surgeon and asked her to remove the scarf.

The multilingual sign outside the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, where a consultant has been investigated after reporting that a Muslim surgeon walked out of an operation rather than remove her headscarf. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The multilingual sign outside the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, where a consultant has been investigated after reporting that a Muslim surgeon walked out of an operation rather than remove her headscarf. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The trust would not confirm that Dr Rogozov had been suspended - only that he was being investigated - but stressed it was not related to him raising patient safety concerns.

Hospital rules are that any scarves must be removed in the interest of patient safety and hygiene.

In its policy, the NHS trust says: “Headscarves worn for religious purposes are permitted in most areas; however they are excluded in areas such as theatre, where they could present a health and safety and cross-infection hazard.”

Dr David Throssell, medical director of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said of Dr Rogozov: “The member of staff has not been excluded from work for raising patient safety issues as we take these very seriously.

“However since the publication of articles, attributed to the member of staff, we have received concerns about the tone he has used. On this basis the content and nature of the views published are currently being investigated.”

In January reports surfaced that “Islamophobic” comments had been attributed to Dr Rogozov on a Czech website.

He was said to have claimed that ‘Muslim doctors regularly abandoned their patients to go to pray’ and that a Muslim anaesthetist “was reading out from the Koran during an operation and was trying to persuade all the other staff to read along with him”.

A translated version of his interview quoted the doctor adding: “It must be noted that in our teaching hospital, this problem is much less pronounced than in many smaller hospitals. There it is even worse.”

In the interview, Dr Rogozov is also quoted as saying that “many places here look like the streets of Pakistan” and that the “Islamisation” of the UK “is already irreversible”.

A complaint against Dr Rogozov was made by a lecturer in Czech studies at the University of Glasgow.

The complainant said he believed Dr Rogozov, who has worked in Sheffield for ten years, had been making “biased, Islamophobic public statements”.

He said the comments “seem to be inappropriate from a professional point of view” and highlighted a number of blog posts that appeared to have been written by Dr Rogozov in which other comments relating to Muslims were made.

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