Westminster fight to help sacked GP

CAMPAIGNERS are heading for the House of Commons in their battle to get a GP left without a job after he admitted having an affair with a patient reinstated at his rural practice.

CAMPAIGNERS are heading for the House of Commons in their battle to get a GP left without a job after he admitted having an affair with a patient reinstated at his rural practice.

Nearly 1,500 people have now signed a petition urging bosses at Sudbury's Hardwicke House Surgery to reverse their controversial decision to expel Dr Michael Leeper .

Hundreds more are expected to sign the petition over the next week before the doctor's supporters head for Parliament to hand the signatures to their MPs Tim Yeo and Sir Alan Haselhurst.

The popular GP, who has served the community of Clare since the late 1980s, was recently found guilty of serious professional misconduct after admitting having a periodic 11-month affair with a female patient.


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The General Medical Council (GMC) decided not to strike Dr Leeper off the register, instead ordering him to work under supervision for a period of two years.

But the doctor's career was already effectively in tatters after his bosses at Hardwicke House expelled him from his Stonehall Surgery in Clare on March 6, 2003, just nine days after he had told them he had suffered a mental breakdown.

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Loyal supporters and former patients of Dr Leeper, recently launched the Get Him Back in Clare campaign, and have been collecting signatures in Clare, Cavendish, Ovington, Hundon, Wickhambrook and other parishes previously covered by Dr Leeper.

The group will gather the signatures together on Monday, March 29, before arranging crunch meetings with the two MPs and staff at the House of Commons.

After meeting the MPs the campaigners will also take the petition to Thingoe House, Bury St Edmunds, headquarters of the Suffolk West Primary Care Trust.

Campaign leader Jane Padfield said: "I think around 2,000 people will have signed the petition when we collect them all, that many people cannot just be ignored.

"We are now arranging to meet Mr Yeo and Mr Haselhurst at the House of Commons before we start to lobby the primary care trust. Everybody around here wants Dr Leeper back, he is the best GP we have ever had."

Meanwhile, Dr Leeper, who is currently considering legal action against his former partners at Hardwicke House, said: "I think the number of people who have signed the petition shows they mean business, they are not going to give up and I will not either.

"I accept the decision of the GMC and I will follow its directives, I just hope the people's views will be taken into account.

"My ambition is still to be a GP in Clare and I would like to thank all the campaigners for their determination and hard work."

A spokesman for the Hardwicke House Surgery Dr Leeper was no longer a partner and would not be coming back to the practice.

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