South Tyneside GP accused of groping 19-year-old patient

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A GP in South Tyneside groped a teenage patient for his own sexual gratification, a hearing heard.

Dr Rajith Ramachandran allegedly abused his power, doing “what he wanted” with the 19-year-old while he was working as a GP and partner at the Glen Medical Practice, in Hebburn.

The General Medical Council (GMC) alleges Ramachandran performed the inappropriate examinations on his patient four times.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal in Manchester was told yesterday that there was no proper clinical reason for his actions and no chaperone was offered or present during the consultations.

Dr Ramachandran denies the allegations. The hearing heard that the woman, known as ‘Patient A’, first consulted Dr Ramachandran at the surgery complaining of chest pains and headaches but no examination took place.

At the next appointment, the medic is said to have lifted her top above her breasts and put his hand inside her bra.

Patient A said her next appointment proceeded in a similar manner.

She said: “The examination began the same way as the previous one. It felt a little odd but you think a doctor knows what they are doing so you don’t question what they do during an examination.”

The GMC alleges that, on the third visit, things went further still.

Charles Garside, for the GMC, said: ‘He asked her to lie flat with her top up and breasts exposed. He then began to press her waist and stomach and put his hand inside her knickers.

Patient A said his behaviour on this occasion started to raise her suspicions that it was not of a medical nature but she didn’t tell her mother who was waiting in the car park.

She said: “It felt more like a grope than what had happened previously. I felt really shocked but I didn’t mention anything to my mum.”

Patient A took her boyfriend along to the final appointment with the GP, which was described as the ‘worst event of them all.’

With her boyfriend in the waiting room, Dr Ramachandran allegedly took her T-shirt off and exposed both her breasts.

Patient A said: ‘He pulled my bra straps down and then took my breasts out of my bra. He stood behind me again and began touching my breasts for a longer time.

“All the time this was happening he asked me to keep saying the word ‘nine.’ He had his hands on my breasts the entire time like in the previous appointment.”

Patient A was left so shaken up she immediately told her boyfriend, prompting a complaint to the GMC.

The GMC alleges that throughout the appointments Dr Ramachandran’s actions were sexually motivated.

He also failed to offer a chaperone or explain his actions to the patient, the hearing was told.

Mr Garside said: ‘In reality, this is a case where the panel will have to decide whether what Patient A said happened did happen.“The overwhelming inference is he was behaving as he did for his own sexual gratification. What he did was to abuse his power in order to be able to do what he wanted with this young woman.’

The hearing continues.