Doctor 'hugged patient after heart scan'

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The Independent Online

A hospital doctor hugged a female patient after a heart scan and then turned up on her doorstep saying he would "like to talk", a disciplinary hearing was told today.



Dr Nabeel Bin Afzal has denied charges of hugging a 61-year-old woman patient after a heart scan at Southend Hospital and then appearing the same day in her garden to say there was a "lot" for them to talk about.

He has further denied, at a hearing of the General Medical Council in London, charges of accessing the woman's medical records in order to locate her home address and asking her "Do you live alone?"

Patricia Blackmore, from south Benfleet, named only as Patient A at the hearing, said the incident had left her so distressed she had not worked for five months.

Giving evidence at a GMC Fitness to Practise hearing, Ms Blackmore said the heart scan carried out by Dr Bin Afzal on May 8 last year had left her feeling "increasingly uncomfortable" about his closeness.

She told the hearing she had first consulted the doctor at a heart and chest clinic at the hospital earlier that day after being referred for a scan following a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

She told the GMC she had felt elated after being given the all-clear following the scan.

She denied an accusation by George Thomas, defending Dr Bin Afzal, that she had given the doctor a hug following the scan.

She said: "I went to shake the doctor's hand and he gave me a hug."

Ms Blackmore, a personal shopper by profession, further angrily denied a suggestion by Mr Thomas that her claim that Dr Bin Afzal had appeared in her garden was an "invention".

She said: "Why would I take five months off work because I had just invented something? Do you think I have got nothing better in my life to do than to invent a situation where a doctor uses my information to turn up on my doorstep... would I really want that when I have got a delicious loving family and love what I do everyday, what would inspire me to invent a situation like that?"

Dr Bin Afzal, who qualified in 2000 from the University of Karachi in Pakistan, has denied acting in an inappropriate manner and abusing his professional position.

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