Diet doctor Anthony Schiff warned over practices

A doctor at a Berkshire slimming clinic has been given a formal warning for "putting people at risk" by prescribing two appetite suppressants.

Phentermine and diethylpropion are not recommended on the NHS although doctors can still offer the medicines.

But an inspection found Dr Anthony Schiff did not always carry out checks on patients' blood pressures or Body Mass Index before giving prescriptions.

Dr Schiff, from the Arthur Fowler Rooms clinic in Newbury, refused to comment.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the premises in December last year.

Prosecution threat

Inspectors found people using the service were "not always protected against the risks of receiving treatment that was inappropriate or unsafe".

Ian Biggs, deputy director of CQC in the South, said: "This warning is a clear and public message that Dr Anthony Adam Schiff needed to make changes to the way he practised as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

"By prescribing medication without following basic guidance, he was putting people at risk.

"If we find that Dr Schiff has not made significant improvements to the way he practises, we won't hesitate to take action, which could include prosecution, to protect the people using the service."

The CQC does not have any regulatory powers over the medications, which are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of obesity.

A statement from the Medical Protection Society, which represented Dr Schiff, said: "It would be inappropriate for Dr Schiff to provide comment whilst the issue is ongoing and we do not have anyone else available to comment on this issue."

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