Gynaecologist Neale struck off

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Gynaecologist Richard Neale was today struck off the medical register after the General Medical Council found him guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Gynaecologist Richard Neale was today struck off the medical register after the General Medical Council found him guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Neale, 54, stood silently with his head bowed as the GMC's professional conduct committee chairman Professor Ken Hobbs announced the decision at the central London hearing.

Prof Hobbs said: "The findings of fact reveal many deficiencies in the standard of care you provided to patients as well as unprofessional and dishonest behaviour."

The body's professional conduct committee last week found the "facts proven" in 34 out of 35 allegations against the consultant.

It found Neale, from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, carried out operations without consent, performed sub-standard surgery and unnecessary procedures and failed to inform patients' GPs of complications resulting from his incompetence.

Women were left in agonising pain after complications following surgery, and they said Neale became abusive when they complained.

One woman had a serious condition misdiagnosed as period pains and another was conned into paying for a private operation after Neale exaggerated the length of the NHS waiting list.

The consultant worked at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, from 1985 to 1995, and in Leicester, London and the Isle of Wight.

The Medical Protection Society, which represented Neale, issued a statement on his behalf.

He said: "My family and I are totally devastated by this decision, the events of recent weeks and the two years it has taken to bring evidence before the GMC.

"My life and career are now in ruins.

"I would like to apologise fully and unreservedly to those patients whose cases have been the subject of this hearing.

"I am very sorry for the physical and psychological suffering they and their families have endured. It is a tragedy not just for them but for me also.

"However, I hope that the public will accept that, as a committed Christian, I went into medicine and became a surgeon, not to cause pain and suffering but to alleviate it wherever possible.

"I loved medicine. It was my life and the greatest privilege to be involved in. These cases, all of which presented a surgical complication, represent only 0.14% my surgical work over a ten-year period."

He added: "I would also like to say how profoundly grateful I am to my family, friends, countless patients, colleagues and professional advisers for their support.

"I would be grateful now to be accorded the privacy for my family and I to rebuild our shattered life in private."

Neale is one of the first people to be punished under a new rule which means doctors who are struck off the medical register are erased for a minimum of five years.

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