Last chance to sign GP petition

By Dave GooderhamSUPPORTERS of a doctor who lost his job after admitting having an affair with a patient have been told they have one last chance to back a campaign to have him reinstated.

By Dave Gooderham

SUPPORTERS of a doctor who lost his job after admitting having an affair with a patient have been told they have one last chance to back a campaign to have him reinstated.

Almost 1,500 signatures have been collected in support of Dr Michael Leeper in an effort to have him restored as a GP in Clare after he was found guilty of professional misconduct earlier this month.

Campaign leader, Jane Padfield, said the success of the petition showed the overwhelming support towards the doctor and urged more people to sign before tomorrow's deadline.


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She added: "We have had an exceptional response to the petition which shows the loyalty patients have to Dr Leeper. Including letters sent to the West Suffolk Primary Care Trust, there have been about 2,000 supporters and that many people can't be wrong.

"Many of his patients have already left his Clare practice since he was expelled by the partners at Hardwicke House. Others are waiting to see where Dr Leeper is going to start practising before his hopeful return to Clare."

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Signatures were collected in Clare, Cavendish, Hundon, Wickhambrook and Ovington and the petition will be handed to Saffron Walden MP, Sir Alan Haselhurst, outside the House of Commons on Thursday and then again at a later date to Tim Yeo, the South Suffolk MP.

"We will be meeting with Sir Alan Haselhurst and at a later date we be handing the petition over to Tim Yeo, whose constituency covers most of Dr Leeper's patients," said Mrs Padfield. "The campaigners wish to ask all the supporters who have not yet signed the petition to do so."

Campaigners hope the petition will persuade bosses at the Hardwicke House Surgery in Sudbury to reverse their decision to expel the doctor, who has served in Clare since the late 1980s.

Dr Leeper was found guilty earlier this month of professional misconduct after admitting having a periodic 11-month affair with a patient.

But the General Medical Council decided not to strike the 48-year-old off the register, instead ordering him to work under supervision for two years.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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