Morecambe locum GP suspended for nine months after intimately touching patients with 'sexual motivation'

A Morecambe locum GP who performed 'intimate genital and breast examinations' with 'sexual motivation' on two female patients has been handed a nine-month suspension.
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Dr Raied Haris escaped a striking off order despite 'abusing his professional position' and allegations he 'poses a real risk of harm to patients'.

At the time of the consultation with Patient A, February 23 2017, Dr Haris was practising as a locum GP at the Bay Urgent Care out of Hours Service, Morecambe.

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At the time of the consultation with Patient B, March 5 2017, he was practising as a GP in the Minor Injuries Unit at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).

Morecambe Same Day Health Centre. Picture from Google Street View.Morecambe Same Day Health Centre. Picture from Google Street View.
Morecambe Same Day Health Centre. Picture from Google Street View.

Neither of the women, referred to as Patient A and Patient B, consented to the examinations, nor did Dr Haris wear any gloves.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel heard that Patient A attended Morecambe Same Day Health Centre presenting with 'bad stomach pains'.

Dr Haris asked the patient to undo her trousers, before he 'suddenly pulled down her underwear'.

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Despite being unsettled, the woman believed Dr Haris was just doing his job, but had to inform him 'the pain isn't here' when he began touching her pubic area, the tribunal was told.

It also included the doctor putting both hands around her 'in a hugging style', before she became aware he was moving back and forth against her upper thigh in a 'thrusting motion'.

The patient was left feeling 'shocked and upset' before her mother rang the service the following day to explain what had taken place.

The panel found that the vaginal examination 'was not clinically indicated' and he had failed to obtain consent.

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Patient B attended the Minor Injuries Unit at Leeds General Infirmary after suffering a momentary blackout in a fall.

She waited four hours with her husband before she was approached by Dr Haris, who explained he would examine her.

Dr Haris initially began 'prodding' the patient's back with two fingers, before asking the woman to lift up her top to just below her breasts in order to examine her ribs.

Dr Haris then began a vaginal examination, again failing to explain why, before asking her to join him in a different room without her husband.

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A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) initially imposed a 12-month period of conditions order upon Dr Haris’ registration after finding the examinations were not 'sexually motivated' in November 2019.

However, the General Medical Council subsequently appealed the decision and the ruling was quashed 'in respect of its decisions of risk, remediation and sanction' by the High Court in September 2020.

Dr Haris, though, avoided being struck off the medical register following a second hearing last month after finding that the 'risk of repetition is low' and because he was 'experiencing work-related stress' at the time.

Representing the General Medical Council, Tim Grey told the tribunal that the appropriate sanction in the case was for Dr Haris to be struck off.

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James Leonard, for Dr Haris, explained he had abided by the conditions placed on his practise and had 'continued to work as a GP very successfully'.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) said: “A suspension for a period of nine months was the appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case and marked the seriousness with which the Tribunal viewed Dr Haris’ misconduct.'