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Hintlesham: GP to face fraud charge

17:47 18 September 2012

South East Suffolk Magistrates

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

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A WELL-known Suffolk doctor is due to appear in court after allegedly making money out of falsifying prescriptions over a 12-month period.

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Dr Michael Debenham, of Priory Road, Hintlesham, near Hadleigh, was originally summonsed to appear before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich yesterday, for the first hearing of his case.

However, Debenham did not appear in court to be formally charged and the case was adjourned until October 3.

The 60-year-old is accused of fraud by false representation.

The alleged offence is said to have been committed between September 23, 2010, and September 7, 2011.

Debenham is accused of altering personal details on NHS prescriptions intending to make a gain for himself.

Asked about the current court summons a spokeswoman for the General Medical Council said it did not comment on specific cases relating to doctors’ suspensions.

However, according to the GMC website Michael Robert Debenham’s licence to practise was suspended on April 3 this year.

The GP is the principal of a private practice in Hintlesham, which he set up around ten years ago.

Before that he had been an NHS GP in Hadleigh, and then Boxford, for 25 years.

Debenham qualified at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London in 1977, and is a Bachelor of Medicine and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

After completing his training at St Bartholomew’s, Debenham held house officer posts in surgery and general medicine at Bury St Edmunds. He then did five years GP training while with the RAF.

In 1983 he joined a large NHS group practice in Hadleigh.

In 1993 Debenham established his own practice in nearby Boxford.

In the latter part of 2002 Debenham was the only doctor in Suffolk to offer the single vaccine instead of a single jab for measles, mumps and rubella.

At the time, despite Government efforts to boost the combined jab, demand for the single vaccine had grown alongside concerns over a possible link between the combined MMR jab and autism.

Clients asking for the single vaccine contacted Debenham from America, Ireland, Canada, and Hong Kong.

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