A man who stole a genuine doctor’s identity in order to work in the UK has been jailed for six years.
Levon Mkhitarian was sentenced to a total of six years when he appeared at Canterbury Crown Court today.
Mkhitarian, 36, of Renaissance Walk, London, previously pleaded guilty to a total of 20 charges: 13 of using a copy of a false instrument and seven counts of fraud by making false representations.
He also admitted a further charge of obtaining leave to enter the UK through deception.
An investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate found that Mkhitarian, originally from the former Soviet State of Georgia, had come to the UK in 2007 on a student visa to study medicine.
In February 2010 he was granted provisional registration by the General Medical Council and months later he was issued with a migrants skilled work visa to work in London.
But in April 2013 concerns were raised about the level he was working at, and he was suspended from working as a doctor in the UK.
Following this, Mkhitarian started to forge documents to assume the identity of another, genuine doctor, and made up a CV, bank statements and energy bills, medical degree and training certificates, references and an email account all under the same name.
Mkitarian applied for work at seven different locum recruitment agencies, using the fake documents which he tailored to bolster his chances. However, however most of the agencies saw issues with the documents offered.
He was successful with two agencies and he continued to work at various hospitals until his arrest 18 months later at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.
Mkhitarian’s double life was found out by hospital staff following security checks and the matter reported to Kent Police.
He had already earned a total of around £85,000 through working under the false identity at various hospitals.
The extent of his deception was uncovered by officers Detective Constable Theo Perez and Detective Constable Tania Pickering who found hundreds of copies of all the documents on his computer tablet.
Mkhitarian was arrested on Saturday 18 April by officers and, when interviewed initially, pretended to be Italian and visiting his uncle in the hospital.
The head of the East Sussex health trust has resigned saying he can no longer offer the long-term commitment needed for the role.
Darren Grayson was in charge of the trust for five years.
In March IT and the Conquest and Eastbourne hospitals - which are under its control - were all rated inadequate.
ITV Meridian spoke to Cllr Michael Wincott from East Sussex County Council.
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Improvements to Southampton's General Hospital's main entrance start next week.
It will be closed until the end of the year, so patients and visitors will have to access the hospital through other entrances. Work to create more parking spaces is also taking place.
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Researchers at the University of Southampton have found a link between coronary heart disease and osteoporosis. They carried out tests on 350 men and women between the ages of 70 and 85 and found people with a history of heart disease tend to have weaker bones - making them more vulnerable to fractures and breaks.
The research suggests both conditions could have similar causes. In one of the first studies of its kind to use a special scanning technique, researchers found that people with a history of heart disease had substantially lower bone mineral density in their wrist bone than those without. The effect was more prominent in women than in men.
Professor Cyrus Cooper, Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Southampton, says: "This is one of the first studies to use this technology to explore bone geometry, density and microstructure in patients with heart disease. The findings highlight the need to evaluate a history of heart disease in the management of osteoporosis in older people and further research is also needed to provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms which explain the link between osteoporosis and heart disease."
Dr. Julien Paccou, Clinical Research Fellow at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, added: "In essence, this work and others show that people with a history of cardiovascular disease tend to have weaker bones. There is a need to better understand this association to improve bone health."
The British Lung Foundation warns that people living with a lung condition may be at risk of seeing their condition worsen in the hot weather.
Advice for people with a lung condition:
- Avoid going outside at midday - the hottest part of the day
- Only do excessive physical activity during the cooler ends of the day
- Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat when outdoors
- Drink plenty of water and remember to carry medication
“During hot weather, the air we breathe has lower moisture levels than usual, which can have a drying effect on our airways. As a result, people with respiratory conditions such as COPD or severe asthma may find it harder to breathe, feel more tired, or find their lungs feeling heavy or tight."