A Morecambe doctor who had sex with a patient on a home visit escaped being struck off after a tribunal ruled his actions were ‘not predatory.’
Dr Mustak Kapadia seduced the patient with classical music and a massage when he paid her a house call, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard.
The doctor admitted sending a string of saucy texts to the patient after treating her at Strawberry Gardens Medical Practice, in Morecambe, but denied a string of other allegations relating to the relationship.
He claimed it was “banter” or “seaside humour”, but said she had invented the “disgusting” allegations. When accused of lying under cross-examination by defence barrister Irshad Sheikh, the woman broke down in tears and said she was willing to go on the Jeremy Kyle Show to prove her story was true. She later stormed out of the hearing in scenes reminiscent of the day-time show.
But she was spared the trouble of contacting the talk show host when the panel believed her story and found the medic’s fitness to practise impaired by reason of misconduct. Bernadette Baxter, for the GMC, had called for him to be struck off for his “sexual misconduct”, but the MPTS panel, chaired by Karen Heenan, decided it would be “disproportionate to strike him off”.
Suspending the doctor for 12 months Ms Heenan told Kapadia: “[The panel] considers your conduct in visiting Patient A, a vulnerable patient, at home on four occasions without recording those visits, engaging in inappropriate text messages, inappropriate conversation, putting your arm around her and engaging in a sexual act to be a serious breach of good medical practice.
“However, it accepts that your sexual misconduct was confined to a single patient and not related to clinical consultations.”
She added: “Taking into account all the evidence in this case and your demeanour in giving evidence, the panel finds that your actions towards Patient A were not predatory.”
The medic was suspended in 2008 after admitting he had self-prescribed more than £2,000 worth of drugs. Kapadia will have to attend a review hearing before he can return to unrestricted work following the ban.