South Scotland

'Rude' doctor wins Wigtownshire practice profit share

Stethoscope Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The medical practice was formed in 2013 but broke up the following year

A family doctor who was "rude to and dismissive of patients" has won a share of profits from his former partners.

Dr Andrei Sheveleu parted ways with the Southern Machars Group Practice in Wigtownshire but it continued to provide services for several months.

He was initially awarded £15,949 after taking action against Drs Andrew Brown and Christopher Ducker but appeal judges have increased this to £35,949.

They ruled that he was entitled to the share of the dissolved firm's profits.

The three doctors formed a partnership in 2013 to provide medical services and a pharmacy with each entitled to a third share of profits.

However, a sheriff held that by February the following year it had ceased to function as a result of the "irretrievable breakdown" in their relationship.

Image copyright Google
Image caption A sheriff at Stranraer did not allow Dr Sheveleu a share of the £60,000 partner salary

The sheriff at Stranraer Sheriff Court found that: "The breakdown occurred because of the pursuer's unacceptable conduct.

"The pursuer was rude to and dismissive of patients.

"As a result of this attitude patients declined to consult the pursuer."

On 20 February 2014 Dr Brown and Dr Ducker decided the partnership could not continue and required Dr Sheveleu to leave the premises. The partnership was dissolved on 12 March.

A contract with NHS Dumfries and Galloway meant the practice was required to give six months' notice of its intention to cease providing services.

The sheriff held that new arrangements were put in place from 1 July 2014 but in the intervening period Dr Brown and Dr Ducker carried out the services under the contract as partners of the dissolved firm.

He also found that between 13 March and 30 June Dr Sheveleu did not carry out any services in the terms of the health board contract.

'Rights and wrongs'

Dr Brown and Dr Ducker said it was considered "inappropriate" for their former partner to continue to work in the practice building following the dissolution. During that period the reimbursement of partner salary was £60,000.

The sheriff did not allow Dr Sheveleu a third share of that sum and he unsuccessfully challenged the ruling at the Sheriff Appeal Court.

However, he appealed to the Court of Session which found in his favour.

Lord Brodie ruled it could be said the pursuer was "excluded or excluded himself" from active participation in the winding up over the period from March to June.

"Whatever the rights and wrongs about that may be (and the sheriff found the pursuer to be in the wrong) does not appear to us to matter," he said.

"What was going on in that period could be said to be a continuation of the business of the dissolved firm but it was by the dissolved firm for the only purpose which was available to the dissolved firm, that is the purpose of winding up.

"A profit was made.

"As a former partner of the dissolved firm the pursuer was entitled to a share of the profit attributable to the dissolved firm."

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