Beds, Herts & Bucks

Lister Hospital doctor suspended over sex with patient

A doctor has been suspended for six months and his contract reviewed for having sex with a patient.

Dr Nikolaos Spinthakis also exchanged text messages "of a personal nature" with the unnamed patient at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

His actions came to light when the patient threatened him with blackmail.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel concluded his actions amounted to misconduct and his fitness to practise was impaired.

Dr Spinthakis had been employed full time as a core medicine trainee by the hospital since August 2013.

'Explore possibilities'

The MPTS hearing heard that the following October he gave his mobile phone number to a patient in his care at the Department of Renal Medicine because he "found her attractive and wanted to explore possibilities with her".

Over the next six days he exchanged personal text messages including "intimate photos".

He arranged to meet her at Luton and Dunstable Hospital where he drove her to his home.

The pair had sex and spent the night there and the following day Dr Spinthakis took the patient out for dinner before driving her home.

The doctor said he had "misgivings" but did not inform his educational supervisor until a few days later when he had received text messages from the patient threatening assault and blackmail.

The panel heard the doctor had come from Greece to work in the UK, was separated from his girlfriend and was "foolishly flattered" by the patient. He also said the doctor had "fully accepted" the wrongdoing.

It found his actions in continuing a relationship with the patient, when he knew it was wrong, "demonstrated conduct that was deplorable".

The East and North Herts NHS Trust had found his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and following a disciplinary hearing in May 2014, gave him a final written warning to remain enforced for 18 months.

Dr Spinthakis has a fixed term contract with the Trust that is due to expire on 31 July 2015 and this will now be reviewed in light of the MPTS decision last week, a spokesman said.

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