Hove family doctor struck off

Posted On 17 Nov 2010 at 4:17 pm

Hove doctor David Heal has been struck off the medical register because of anger, dishonesty and inappropriate behaviour.

A Fitness to Practise Panel at the General Medical Council brought Dr Heal’s medical career to an end a short while ago.

The panel heard how Dr Heal threatened two speed camera operators on separate occasions, attacking one of them, leading to a conviction for assault at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

It also heard how he hurt an elderly woman patient as he forced her into an ambulance and how he had stormed out of a complex patient handover to another doctor.

The GMC panel said that suspension alone would not be enough to protect the public and maintain confidence in the medical profession.

It said: “The panel has already announced that it has found your fitness to practise to be impaired by reason of your misconduct and health.

“It has found your conduct and behaviour to be dishonest, misleading, inappropriate, seriously below the standard expected of a registered medical practitioner and likely to bring the profession into disrepute.

Lied on oath

“It did not find your evidence to be reliable or credible.

“Indeed the panel found that you have lied to it while on oath.

“It has already announced that your behaviour demonstrates a marked lack of insight, judgment and acceptance, and that there are severe consequences associated with the findings of dishonesty and misconduct.

“Although the issues the panel has had to consider as part of the formal allegation only go back to 2007, it has seen evidence of your dysfunctional and inappropriate conduct which dates back to 2000.

“You were found on two occasions to have accosted members of the public with no provocation.

“You have abused them verbally and put them in fear of harm and physical violence.

“You have used force on an elderly and vulnerable patient and as a consequence your actions left her with minor injuries.

“You have also been found guilty of common assault and have demonstrated that you have had attitudinal problems in relation to anger and to resorting to lying and behaving in a misleading manner when it suits you.”

“The panel is satisfied that your behaviour cannot all be regarded as a consequence of the diagnosed health condition.

Abused trust

“In any event, such a condition does not relieve you of your responsibility to the profession and to society to behave in an acceptable manner.

“You have abused a position of trust and violated your patient’s rights.

“You have persistently behaved in an inappropriate manner both professionally and in your personal life.

“You have been found guilty of an offence involving violence.

“You have undoubtedly put your own interests before those of patients and you have been repeatedly dishonest.

“Behaviour such as yours is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.

“The panel has concluded that you have failed to recognise and appreciate the seriousness of the findings made and the effect that your conduct has had on the reputation of, and confidence in, the medical profession.

“The panel is not satisfied that a period of suspension would adequately reflect the very serious concerns regarding your conduct.

“Accordingly, the panel has concluded that erasure (of your name from the medical register) is the appropriate and proportionate sanction in your case.”

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