A former Wigan doctor has been suspended for a year after asking his patient on a date and sending her flirtatious WhatsApp messages.
Married orthopaedic surgeon, Vishwajeet Kumar, has been scrutinised during a week-long tribunal after making “inappropriate” comments during and after a consultation in 2017.
The 44-year-old dad has been sanctioned for his “sexually motivated” actions after the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service found his fitness to practise “impaired”.
The panel heard how Dr Kumar, who was most recently working at Cambridge University Hospitals, sent a series of text messages to his patient after she attended Wrightington for help with ongoing foot pain.
During the hearing, which concluded on Tuesday, Dr Kumar admitted to hugging the patient during a consultation back in February 2017 and telling her she had a “lovely smile”.
It was also proved that he ask her to “get some lunch” or “go for a coffee”.
The panel heard how Dr Kumar took his patient’s number after telling her he needed it for her medical records.
In a statement taken in February, he said: “I had no intention to contact Patient A for personal use or for any other reasons.
“Following the good rapport we built up during the consultation, I noted down Patient A’s mobile number after the consultation to contact her to ensure that she received a physiotherapy appointment.”
After she started receiving inappropriate messages from Dr Kumar, Patient A took screenshots which were shown to the tribunal panel during the hearing.
In them, Patient A responds to comments made by the surgeon, saying she assumes he is single.
He replies saying: “Sorry I’m not, but I liked you really. Can we not be friends?
“I’m really sorry. It seems I have put you off. But does it matter a lot to you?”
Dr Kumar was also accused of hugging the patient during the consultation, an allegation which he initially denied but later admitted.
During an investigation by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS trust, he said he didn’t “recall” hugging her but that the pair may have shook hands and that it could have been misread.
However, during the later texts to the patient, Dr Kumar said: “I liked your hug”.
Miss Sally Cowen, panel spokesperson, said: “The tribunal determined that the continual denial in Dr Kumar’s evidence was more significant than any inconsistencies it could see in Patient A’s evidence.”
Of the 10 allegations made against Dr Kumar, only one - that he had held his patient’s foot on his thigh for “longer than necessary” - was found not proven.