Claydon: Doctor accused of assaulting child

A doctor is to appear in court next month after being charged with assaulting a child.

Dr Paul Thomas, who runs Gipping Valley Practice in Barham, near Claydon, is currently on conditional bail.

It is understood that although the 58-year-old GP has not been suspended by NHS Suffolk, he has taken a leave of absence from the surgery.

His patients are now being looked after by a surgery off Norwich Road in Ipswich.

Dr Thomas, of Norwich Road, Claydon, is accused of assault by beating. The alleged incident is said to have taken place on September 11.

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Dr Thomas was arrested on September 21 and given police bail pending further inquiries. He was charged on November 4.

Dr Thomas, who is on the board of the Dispensing Doctors’ Association (DDA), made his first appearance before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich on November 16.

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He is now due back at the court on December 14.

No plea to the charge has been entered at this stage.

Dr Thomas was unavailable for comment yesterday. However, NHS Suffolk confirmed it was aware of Dr Thomas’ case.

Dr Andrew Hassan, medical director at NHS Suffolk, said: “We have made temporary arrangements, with his agreement, and at his request, to ensure continuity of patient care. The practice is currently being managed by the Chesterfield Drive surgery.” After working in research for the Medical Research Council as an environmental physiologist, Dr Thomas attended the Royal Free Hospital Medical School and qualified in 1984 aged 32.

He completed his vocational training with the Ipswich scheme in 1987, attaining membership to the Royal College of GPs.

In 1992 he became a GP for the Claydon area, with the practice offering a personal medical service 24 hours a day.

Dr Thomas was elected to the DDA Board in 1997.

In November, 2002, Dr Thomas suffered a near-fatal diving accident and was prevented from working as a doctor for more than a year due to the seriousness of his injuries.

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