Doctor abused position of trust
PUBLISHED: 09:43 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010
A DOCTOR abused his position when he attempted to attract a female patient by sending her gifts, emails and text messages. A General Medical Council (GMC) hearing this week found that Dr Matthew Goodchild-Simpson abused his position of trust, and that he
A DOCTOR abused his position when he attempted to attract a female patient by sending her gifts, emails and text messages.
A General Medical Council (GMC) hearing this week found that Dr Matthew Goodchild-Simpson abused his position of trust, and that he did not act in the best interests of a patient.
It will now consider whether his fitness to practice is impaired, and the hearing is expected to be concluded today (Thursday).
Jonathan Holl-Allen, representing Dr Goodchild-Simpson, said that his client admitted sending a string of text messages and emails to a female patient, known as Ms KT, while working at the Ashwell Surgery, Ashwell, in 2007.
On August 21, 2007 he wrote to the patient after an appointment with follow-up information, and included his personal email address, and the fact that he was single.
He followed this up with an email which included his mobile telephone number.
Despite the woman rejecting his advances, he then invited her to attend a rugby match with him at Twickenham, emailed her pictures taken while she was out riding a horse, and left a rugby shirt for her at a local florist.
Ms KT then contacted the doctor to say that she found his messages "upsetting", and that he should refrain from contacting her immediately.
He was also warned by a colleague and an officer from Herts police to not send any further messages.
But, in the face of "compelling evidence" from Ms KT, the panel also found that he attempted to phone the woman in December 2007, and instigated a further phone call in January 2008.
In its judgment on the facts of the case, the GMC panel said: "The matters found proved demonstrate a single, continuing course of action on your part, namely the pursuit of Ms KT with the intention of establishing with her an emotional relationship which would have the potential of leading to a sexual relationship.
"The panel notes that this course of action had continued despite requests from her that you desist, and despite the interventions of both another medical practitioner and a police officer.
"The panel has determined that your actions were, individually and cumulatively, an abuse of your position of trust, and not in the best interests of your patient.