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Anthony Haycroft successfully defends GP in 3-week Fitness to Practise hearing

7th September 2023

Anthony Haycroft successfully defended a doctor before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal in August 2023 in a three week Fitness to Practise hearing.

A GP was accused of threatening staff, touching a patient’s breasts, unauthorised access to patient records and refusing to sign contract documentation unless the Practice management secured the withdrawal of the patient complaint. The doctor admitted accessing records as part of a whistle blowing operation against his partners because of their own alleged misconduct which he had referred to the GMC, being concerned over patient safety.

After a contested hearing the MPT found none of the other charges proven, preferring the evidence of the doctor and his witnesses including his local MP who was aware of issues at the Practice. The defence successfully argued that the patient’s evidence had been contaminated by the Practice who acted as interpreter for her in the taking of statements. The MPT stated:

Mr Haycroft made extensive submissions as to the catalogue of irregular occurrences in this case. The Tribunal accepted those submissions and that the GMC witness’s involvement was improper.”

They found the patient had misunderstood the nature of the clinically indicated examination carried out by the doctor. The doctor accepted his unauthorised access to records amounted to misconduct but argued that no action should be taken because of the “exceptional circumstances” in the case including his motivation to safeguard patient safety. The MPT agreed.

Following the case the GMC have approached the defence in relation to taking action against the doctor’s former partners.

Anthony Haycroft was instructed by Yvonne Screene and Jessica Sharpe of Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP through the Medical Defence Union.

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