Patel charged with serious professional misconduct

The General Medical Council has charged a former government
adviser with serious professional misconduct over allegations of
poor care standards at a nursing home condemned in an independent
report, writes Mithran Samuel.

Dr Chai Patel will go before the GMC on 31 January on charges
relating to conditions at Lynde House in Twickenham between 1999
and 2002, when he was chief executive of owners Westminster Health

The home was damned in a September 2002 report, commissioned by
Kingston and Richmond Health Authority, following a string of
complaints made by relatives of residents.

It found Lynde House had insufficient and inadequately trained
staff, used equipment that breached health and safety legislation
and failed to tackle complaints properly, while residents and their
relatives faced “an apparent climate of fear and

Patel, who is now chief executive of mental health providers
Priory Healthcare, stepped down from the government’s older
people’s taskforce and Help the Aged’s board of
trustees shortly after the publication of the damning report, but
has always disputed its conclusions.

The GMC has not revealed the specific charges against Patel,
which will be confirmed at the hearing, but a spokesperson for the
doctor confirmed they related to Lynde House.

Patel’s spokesperson added that the case would be costly
for both the doctor and the GMC, and set a dangerous precedent for
the council effectively regulating any healthcare provider which
had a doctor on its senior management team.


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