Peterborough podiatrist would not treat 'gay' patient
A Christian health worker has been found guilty of misconduct for discriminating against patients he believed to be homosexual.
The Health Professions Council (HPC) made the ruling in the case of podiatrist Steve Hardie, who worked for Peterborough Community Services.
The hearing was told he asked a colleague to treat one of his patients because he believed the man was gay.
The HPC found Mr Hardie's fitness to practise was impaired.
Elspeth Metcalfe, chairman of the HPC panel hearing the case, said: "The registrant's attitude towards patients and colleagues of a homosexual orientation has been, and continues to be, unacceptable and highly offensive both to the persons concerned and to the wider public."
'Rude and obnoxious'
Mr Hardie asked a colleague to take over the care of an HIV positive man, believing him to be homosexual, the panel concluded.
It was also proved as fact that Hardie was "rude and obnoxious" to two male patients he believed were in a relationship because they lived at the same address.
On another occasion, he failed to properly treat a patient with diabetes, explaining later to his line manager that he found the man to be "effeminate".
Sarah Weaver, representing Mr Hardie, who did not attend the hearing on Tuesday, said he saw a "large number of patients" in private practice, including one who was HIV positive.
She said he had "not received one complaint" since leaving the NHS.
Ms Weaver added: "He works hard. He enjoys his work as a podiatrist and is liked by his patients.
"There have been no issues with his work. Mr Hardie has clearly learned from his past mistakes."
Ms Weaver stressed that Hardie had never refused to treat a patient because of their sexual orientation.
She said: "He accepts that he must treat all patients irrespective of his beliefs."