Audit leads to disciplinary proceedings

September 30, 2005

Richard Eastell, the renowned medical scientist who was a key figure in Aubrey Blumsohn's allegations, faces possible disciplinary action over allegations of financial irregularities in his role as director of research at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

The National Health Service Foundation Trust this week confirmed that it had initiated disciplinary proceedings against Professor Eastell. The move follows its internal audit team concluding an investigation into allegations over irregular charges made to the NHS for tests for "research purposes".

The news came as the university announced that it had cleared Professor Eastell of separate research misconduct allegations, after a two-year investigation, relating to his role as head of the university's Bone Metabolism Research Unit.

The trust suspended Professor Eastell in May. This week, it issued a further statement on the matter.

"Our internal audit team carried out an initial investigation into allegations raised and that has now been concluded," it says.

"The trust's disciplinary proceedings have been instituted and are being taken forward in line with our disciplinary policy. The findings of the investigation will be considered as part of this process."

The trust added that the move to the disciplinary stage was routine and did not mean that the audit had uncovered any wrongdoing. The disciplinary proceedings could still conclude that there is no case to answer.

The British Medical Association, representing Professor Eastell, said it was unable to comment.

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