Bury St Edmunds: GP loses licence for six months
A SUFFOLK GP, who conducted a sexual relationship with a patient in his surgery after hours, is to have his medical licence suspended for six months after a hearing found his fitness to practice was “impaired”.
Dr Malcolm Graeme Kelvin, 58, who was suspended from Mount Farm Surgery in Bury St Edmunds in February 2011 following an allegation of professional misconduct, appeared before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel in Manchester this week. This afternoon, he was told his name would be suspended from the Medical Register within 28 days of a notice being served, unless he lodges an appeal.
During the course of the hearing, the panel heard evidence from Dr Christopher Hodgson, a partner at the Mount Farm Surgery, and from Dr Kelvin himself. He admitted that from the end of 2008, he began exchanging intimate text messages with a patient, which in March 2011 progressed into a sexual relationship in the surgery after hours.
After it was discovered, he told practice business manager Peter Knights of the affair, who then reported it to the Suffolk Primary Care Trust and the GMC, which led to a nine-month suspension from his job.
Dr Kelvin, who was educated at the University of London and first registered as a GP in 1979, told the hearing he was ashamed by what had happened, but he denied misusing his professional position to pursue a personal relationship with a patient.
Counsel for the GMC, Elizabeth Nicholls, told the hearing that by embarking on an emotional and sexual relationship with a patient, Dr Kelvin was breaching one of the fundamental principles of medical practice. She said his behaviour represented a breach of trust and that it “impinged upon the boundaries” which exist between a patient and a doctor.
Represting Dr Kelvin, Gordon Bebb QC told the panel that his client had been a general practitioner for 27 years. He described Dr Kelvin as an exceptional medical practitioner who was “much missed” by his patients at Mount Farm Surgery.
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However, the panel determined that in view of the circumstances of Dr Kelvin’s misconduct, to take no action would be “inapproprite and insufficient to maintain public confidence in the profession”.
It has taken 18 months for the matter to be investigated. During that time, Dr Kelvin’s registration was suspended from February to November 2011 by an interim order and since then, he has had a list of conditions attached to his licence to practise.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service took over fitness to practise hearings from the General Medical Council in June.