How kerb-crawling GPs are allowed to keep jobs if they promise it was a 'one-off'

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How kerb-crawling GPs are allowed to keep jobs if they promise it was a 'one-off'

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:34 pm

How kerb-crawling GPs are allowed to keep jobs if they promise it was a 'one-off'

By Sophie Borland

Last updated at 8:37 AM on 12th September 2011

GP: Grant Ingrams was allowed to keep his job despite soliciting a prostitute
Doctors guilty of kerb crawling are being allowed to carry on treating patients as long as they promise it was a ‘one-off’.

GPs, consultants and surgeons are also staying in their jobs despite being convicted of taking class A drugs, stealing or possessing child pornography.

One doctor was merely given ‘advice’ and allowed to carry on looking after patients despite being found guilty of owning an offensive weapon, which may have been a knife or gun.

The General Medical Council is routinely letting convicted doctors escape with warnings as long as they promise it won’t happen again.

Figures from the GMC show that last year 15 doctors were allowed back to work despite being found guilty of soliciting for sex.

Another was allowed to carry on treating patients despite having a police conviction for possessing indecent images of children.

Twenty-one kept their jobs even though they were convicted of using heroin or morphine. Another three stayed in work despite using cocaine and four were let off with warnings even though they had smoked cannabis.

A further 21 doctors were handed a warning despite being guilty of stealing.

The kerb-crawling cases include that of one GP and former adviser to the Department of Health who was found guilty of soliciting a prostitute but was allowed to keep his job as long as he promised to attend monthly sessions with a mentor.

Grant Ingrams, 46, who lives with his wife in Bulkington, near Coventry, was told it would not be ‘in the public interest’ if he was struck off the register.

The GMC also ruled that one anaesthetist should carry on working after serving a three-month suspension for squeezing the breast of a junior member of staff.

Indecent assault: But Sudhakar Srirama said it was an isolated incident
Father-of-two Sudhakar Srirama, who practised at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, near Hull, said the incident was a ‘one-off’.

The GMC said that often it was more ‘appropriate’ to let a kerb-crawling doctor escape with a warning if it was just an isolated incident.

A spokesman said: ‘If it was just a one-off case of a doctor caught soliciting, a warning might be more appropriate if there were no other concerns.’

The figures showed that the GMC investigated some 5,285 badly behaving doctors last year, a rise of more than a third since 2008.

But the spokesman said: ‘It isn’t necessarily a bad thing that the numbers are going up – it doesn’t mean it’s getting worse. Procedures are getting better. Patients are more willing to complain than ten or 20 years ago. It’s also easier for employers to report concerns about other doctors.’

The GMC said doctors were allowed to carry on treating patients as long as the criminal conviction was not deemed serious. The spokesman said: ‘Certain convictions are completely incompatible with being a doctor – for example serious offences such as murder or rape.’

The GMC statistics, showing the crime and the number of doctors convicted but allowed back to work, are: kerb crawling 15; taking illegal drugs 28; drink-driving 155; being drunk and disorderly 14; stealing 21; indecent assault six; bullying a colleague 24; making inappropriate remarks 20; misdiagnosing a patient 19; having a relationship with a patient 26.

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