The High Court has upheld a GMC decision to erase a doctor from its register following multiple allegations, including relating to the Appellant’s behaviour towards a patient.

The Appellant in this case, Roach v The General Medical Council [2024] EWHC 1114 (Admin) (10 May 2024), lodged a notice of appeal against the Tribunal’s decisions. The main issue on this appeal relates to whether the findings of fact made by the Tribunal were wrong or seriously procedurally unjust in relation to:

  1. the Appellant’s motivation (being sexual not medical);
  2. the Appellant’s sexual actions (which were disputed);
  3. rejecting the Appellant’s evidence and explanations for his words and actions;
  4. accepting PA’s evidence on the core events.

There were six allegations of inappropriate behaviour (misconduct) laid against the Appellant:

  1. That the Appellant asked for PA’s phone number in the surgery on the 18th of March 2020 and wrote it down.
  2. That the Appellant called PA from his personal mobile after he left the surgery and went to her flat on the 18th of March 2020 at around 7.30 pm with sexual motivation, not medical motivation.
  3. That during the visit the Appellant’s actions and words were inappropriate, including: making comments about PA’s bedroom; offering to massage PA; asking PA to get massage oil; asking PA to lie on the sofa; asking PA to remove her top; unfastening PA’s bra; asking PA to take off her bra; massaging PA’s neck, back, buttocks, breasts, ribs and stomach; pulling down PA’s leggings a bit; pressing his erection into her hand; giving PA hugs after the massage; offering to do so again in future.
  4. That the Appellant called PA on the 19th of March 2020 inappropriately for non-medical reasons.
  5. That the Appellant’s actions in taking off PA’s bra, massaging her breasts, lowering her leggings and pressing his penis against her hand were sexually motivated and without proper consent.
  6. That the Appellant failed to make any medical notes of his alleged medically motivated home visit on the 18th March 2020 and the three phones calls from his mobile phone.
UK Fitness to Practise News

Mr Justice Ritchie, in refusing the appeal, said:

This appeal will be dismissed. It is no doubt a matter of considerable regret to the Appellant, his wife and children that this family man has lost his medical career as a GP because of a finding that a 5-minute, upper body massage with a patient who did not demur or object at the time.

“Women must be protected from men in positions of trust and power in the medical field who seek sexual gratification in breach of and in spite of their professional obligations, rules and responsibilities. The Tribunal decided the facts and I do not find, on the Grounds presented, that they were either wrong or that there was any serious procedural unfairness.”

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