A married Wigan doctor has admitted to sending a series of inappropriate and “sexually motivated” Whatsapp messages to a patient.
Dr Vishwajeet Kumar, formerly employed as an orthopaedic surgeon at Wrightington Hospital, has been brought before a misconduct tribunal to face allegations that he pursued a sexual relationship with a woman who came in for help with ongoing foot pain.
The hearing, which is currently being conducted by the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service, has been told how the 44-year-old made a number of flirtatious comments during a patient consultation and sent a string of text messages asking her to meet up.
During the seven-day tribunal, which is set to conclude on Tuesday, Dr Kumar has admitted to hugging the patient during a consultation back in February 2017 and telling her she has a “lovely smile”.
It has also been 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 replied 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?
“I’m more than happy to meet and chat further. I liked talking to you. I liked your hug. I liked your smile.”
Despite reiterating that she did not want to have a relationship with a married man, Dr Kumar persisted, saying “does that make me unsuitable to you?”.
“I will be good to you and bring happiness and smile, promise,” he added. “You can trust me (smiley face).
“I respect what you’re saying but I really liked you.”
Members of the panel agreed that his actions were sexually motivated.
An accompanying report says: “The tribunal determined that the messages were part of a whole course of action designed by Dr Kumar in pursuit of a future sexual relationship with Patient A.
“The tribunal noted that this was what Patient A thought was happening too.”
Of all the allegations, the only one found to be not proved was that the doctor held the patient’s foot on his thigh for “longer than necessary”.
The hearing continues.