Doctor charged with 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

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 intimidation”.

Patel, who is now chief executive of mental health provider
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.

He said: “Lynde House was, and continues to be, a valuable
resource for the local community…There is absolutely no basis to
these charges and Dr Patel is looking forward to clearing his name
and reputation.”
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 health care provider which had a
doctor on its senior management team.

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