Cambridgeshire

Christian health worker accused over 'gay' patient

A Christian health worker asked a colleague to treat one of his patients because he believed the man was homosexual, a hearing has been told.

Podiatrist Steve Hardie, who worked for Peterborough Community Services, has appeared before a Health Professions Council fitness to practise hearing.

He is also accused of "rude" behaviour towards two male patients he believed to be a gay couple.

Mr Hardie denies misconduct and denies his fitness to practise was impaired.

The hearing was told Mr Hardie treated a high-risk diabetic patient who had an ulcer on his foot in May 2005.

But he failed to give him a full assessment and gave him a follow-up appointment that was too far in the future to be "in keeping with usual practice", the hearing was told.

'Eyes twinkling'

Mr Hardie later explained his actions to his line manager, Joanna Hood, by saying the patient was an "effeminate man", the tribunal at the Health Professions Council in London was told.

Vicky Lord, representing the council, said: "Miss Hood was aware he didn't approve of homosexuality. He had quoted his Christian faith as a reason for his views."

Mr Hardie is also accused of walking out of a child protection training session in June 2006 because he believed the trainer had "made passes" at him, including an incident in which the man smiled at him with "eyes twinkling".

In a further incident, Mr Hardie has admitted refusing to go into a clinic in February 2007 with a work colleague because of the man's sexual orientation.

On another occasion, in June 2009, Hardie asked a colleague to swap a patient, known as Patient D, who was HIV positive.

When challenged, he said that "everyone's beliefs were respected except his, and that Patient D's lifestyle was not in keeping with his beliefs because Patient D was 'you know'," Miss Lord said.

"He thought that because he was HIV positive he was also gay."

In a further allegation of misconduct, Hardie is said to have refused to declare to the trust that he was also undertaking private podiatry work in Peterborough.

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