Doctor is struck off after string of affairs

DISGRACED bedhopping GP John Razzak has been thrown out of the profession.

DISGRACED bedhopping GP John Razzak has been thrown out of the profession. And shortly after the General Medical Council's professional conduct committee struck off the married father of two, the Queen's Road Medical Practice defended its handling of the Romeo GP.

Ordering the removal of him from the register, Dr Kevin Walters said: 'Dr Razzak's repeated misconduct in pursuing improper relationships with patients is, according to his own admission, beyond his control...

'It is the committee's view that it is in the interests of patients and the public - and in Dr Razzak's own interest - that he is denied access to any further patients with the temptations which may follow.'

The former partner at the Queen's Road Medical Practice, whose age was yesterday confirmed as 46, tried to resign in September last year, telling colleagues that he had a string of affairs with patients and could not control himself.

The practice did not accept his resignation and demanded his retirement. Mr Razzak, who has since dropped the title, doctor, refused to name his conquests.

At the same time he wrote to the GMC asking for voluntary erasure from the medical register but did not reveal the real reasons. These came to light when the practice reported him to the GMC.

Mr Razzak did not attend yesterday's hearing in London. He admitted serious professional misconduct and dishonesty.

The committee's directions usually come into force in 28 days but the committee ruled that he be suspended from practising with immediate effect.

'To comply with good medical practice, doctors must be honest and trustworthy,' said Dr Walters.

'Doctors must not use their professional position to establish or pursue a sexual or improper emotional relationship with patients.

'Dr Razzak has repeatedly failed to uphold the high standards of behaviour which the public rightly expects of a registered medical practitioner.

'He has abused his professional position and, in submitting a document to his regulatory body knowing its contents to be false, he has also been dishonest.'

The former GP, who had worked at Queen's Road since 1990, was in March 1996 suspended for a year from practising when he was found guilty of misconduct after a passionate two-year affair with a vulnerable patient, identified only as Miss A.

'His actions have brought the profession into disrepute,' said Dr Walters.

'This committee has a responsibility to act in the public interest. Dr Razzak presents a risk to patients and to the good name of the profession.

'The committee finds that Dr Razzak has behaved in a manner totally incompatible with being a registered medical practitioner. He recognises this himself.'

Reacting to the finding on behalf of the practice, Dr Stephen Wray said: 'After returning from suspension, and despite his assurances of good behaviour, Dr Razzak was monitored closely.

'We have a duty of care for patients which we take with the utmost seriousness, so although we believed the earlier incident was an isolated incident we wanted to do everything we could to ensure there was no repeat.'

Dr Wray said that the practice took the right course.

'We believe that our action in compulsorily retiring Dr Razzak and then reporting the matter to the GMC shows that we do not and will not tolerate or condone such behaviour,' he said.

'Unfortunately we have little evidence to go on, but we will certainly review the events leading up to Dr Razzak's erasure from the Medical Register and improve any systems that we see as needing to be changed.'

'A doctor's professional relationship with a patient is based on trust and confidentiality. Because of this, where that trust is breached, it is extremely difficult to be aware or to ascertain that it has been - unless advised by either party,' said Dr Wray.

'We have a comprehensive complaints policy but no complaints were received in respect of Dr Razzak's conduct. Had they been, they would have been dealt with rigorously.

'We hope that any patients affected by Dr Razzak's conduct will contact the practice should they require any advice or counselling.'

The case has put the former GP and the St Peter Port practice in the national media spotlight, with several reporters already believed to be in the island.

Mr Razzak, who briefly joined the civil service after leaving Queen's Road, now works in the accounts department of a local skip company and, while he was expected at work yesterday, he failed to show.

The General Medical Council yesterday admitted that similar cases could be happening across the country and it said it would investigate any allegations.

But a spokesperson added that it provided guidance for all doctors on the register and included in them was the proviso that all patients could have a chaperone for examinations.

Health and Social Services chief officer David Hughes said that the department's responsibility was limited in such cases.

He said that those who worked in private practices were subject to the controls of the surgery. The department had to make sure that doctors were registered by the GMC, who in turn would make sure that they were appropriately qualified.

If there were allegations of wrongdoing it would be the GMC who would investigate and take action because they have ultimate control.

The department could follow up issues that were brought to its attention but did not have the same authority over them as doctors employed by them.

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