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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 20:44 GMT
Leech advice gynaecologist warned
A gynaecologist who told a patient she could try leeches to treat genital swelling has been cleared of misconduct but received a warning.

Dr Adrian Barnett was accused of developing a relationship with the women which caused her to become emotionally dependent on him.

A General Medical Council panel found that the Harrogate-based obstetrician's fitness to practise was not impaired.

But it had "significant concerns" about his treatment of the woman.

Dr Barnett, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Harrogate and District NHS Trust, admitted that during a consultation in January 2005 he mentioned the use of leeches as a "medical anecdote".

'Inappropriate' relationship

He told the panel there was no intention of such treatment but he regretted making the comments.

The woman, a published author, underwent a series of operations after suffering a prolapse.

Dr Barnett denied a series of accusations made against him, including that he shouted at the woman; told her they would be friends forever; that she should think about suing another surgeon who treated her; hugged her and kissed her cheek; and made a joke about her sex life.

The panel concluded that aspects of the way he managed their professional relationship were "inappropriate" and amounted to "an abuse of your position, not in the best interests of the patient and not of the standard expected of a medical practitioner".

The panel said this contributed to a relationship which was "insufficiently professional and inequitable".

It was unhelpful to someone with the emotional needs and complex history of the woman, it added.

The warning will remain on Dr Barnett's record for five years.

'Leeches joke' doctor faces GMC
21 Jan 08 |  North Yorkshire

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