The records of hundreds of patients who received treatment from a bogus psychiatrist are being reviewed by health boards across Scotland.

New-Zealand born Zholia Alemi practiced as a consultant psychiatrist for 22 years before she was convicted of trying to defraud an elderly patient in October 2018.

Alemi, 56, claimed she had a primary medical qualification when she first registered in the UK in 1995 but her claim to have a degree from the University of Auckland in New Zealand was fraudulent.

In May The Herald revealed that a letter sent by Scotland's chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood to six NHS health boards flagged concerns that patients under her care may have been subject to unnecessary treatment, including electroshock therapy.


Bogus psychiatrist's patients 'given electroshock therapy'

Now clinical records in each NHS Scotland health board are being reviewed in detail by consultant psychiatrists to identify decisions made by Alemi to offer advice and support.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: "I know that this will be extremely upsetting for people and their families.

"The General Medical Council (GMC) now has processes in place to ensure that this won't happen again.

"I also wish to reassure people that the remainder of their care and treatment was delivered by fully qualified doctors.

"If anyone affected has any further questions, they can get in touch with their local board."

Alemi was jailed for fraud after grooming an 87-year-old patient and changing her will in an attempt to inherit her £1.3 million estate after they met at a dementia clinic in 2016.

She denied charges of fraud and theft but was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison following a trial at Carlisle Crown Court.


Background: ‘Zholia Alemi didn’t have a clue what she was doing’

Her deception across the UK triggered an urgent investigation and checks on the licences of potentially thousands of other doctors.

The GMC previously apologised for "inadequate" checks made in the 1990s and for "any risk arising to patients as a result".

It said Alemi joined the medical register in the UK under a section of the Medical Act that has not been in force since 2003.

Her documents were not subject to the rigorous checks that exist today, the GMC has now admitted.

NHS Scotland boards will be sending letters with further information to affected patients over the coming months.