Top psychiatrist struck off for bedding 'vulnerable' patients

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A Harley Street psychiatrist who had improper sexual relationships with vulnerable female patients was today ordered to be struck off the medical register.

A General Medical Council panel had found that Dr Theodore Soutzos's fitness to practise was impaired after hearing he became romantically involved with three women he treated between 1999 and 2006 at NHS and private clinics.

The panel heard he had slept with a patient and then warned her not to tell anyone because his mother would "die" and he would lose his career if anyone found out.













Dr Soutzos, who had denied misconduct charges, was told: "The panel is satisfied that the only sufficient and proportionate way in which patients, the public and the reputation of the profession can be protected is by directing the Registrar to erase your name from the Medical Register.

"The panel is satisfied that your misconduct will have damaged the reputation of the profession.



"Doctors, patients and the public at large need to be reassured that serious misconduct of the kind in which you have repeatedly engaged cannot be tolerated."



The hearing was told that Dr Soutzos treated Patient A at Guy's Hospital in London from January to December 1999 after she was admitted with possible personality and post traumatic stress disorders.



He showered her with compliments and took her on visits to art galleries and on swimming trips, the panel was told.



He invited her to his north London flat and had sex with her before dropping her back at the hospital, Patient A said.



The woman, who was 37 at the time, said her mental health deteriorated after the sexual encounter and she felt stressed by his warnings that she must not tell anyone.



Dr Soutzos also developed a relationship with a patient who suffered from agoraphobia who he treated at Bowden House Clinic in Harrow between 2003 and 2006 when she was 18.



He told the woman - known only as Miss B - that she should get involved with "older and less attractive" men.



The psychiatrist would text her in the middle of the night and would hug her every time they met, Miss B told the hearing.



The pair had consultations in a coffee shop, an art gallery and the upstairs room of a friend's house during the three years she was his patient.



After they finished seeing each other professionally, he took her on a dinner date and kissed her when he took her home, Miss B told the hearing.



The psychiatrist also had an "improper emotional and sexual" relationship with a third woman, who suffered from an eating disorder, he treated at the Priory Hospital in Roehampton in 2006.



The panel found that Dr Soutzos's conduct was inappropriate, an abuse of his position of trust and liable to bring the medical profession into disrepute.













Dr Soutzos was also told by the panel that clinical competence was "not an issue" in his case.

Chairwoman Evis Samupfonda told him: "The panel heard that you are a highly competent consultant psychiatrist. However, your misconduct is related to your dishonesty and repeated use of patients for your own sexual purposes.



"The panel has already found that your misconduct in respect of Ms A, Ms B and Ms C constituted a course of conduct which you pursued over a period of several years. You have demonstrated negligible insight into your wrongdoing."



She added: "Your misconduct amounts to behaviour which is fundamentally incompatible with being a registered medical practitioner.



"It was your role as a psychiatrist which gave you the opportunity to pursue and establish improper sexual and or emotional relationships with Ms A, Ms B and Ms C.



"They trusted you and you betrayed that trust."



And she told him: "The panel considers that when doctors behave as you have done, they damage not only the patients whose trust they have abused but also put at risk the essential trust which is necessary between the public and the medical profession in general.



"Patients are entitled to expect that when they consult with a doctor, they will be treated with dignity and respect, not that they will be used for the practitioner's sexual gratification. If members of the public do not trust their doctors, then their health care is placed at risk."

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