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Aggressive GP appears before disciplinary panel

21 April 2010

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A GP in Cumbria has appeared before a disciplinary panel over claims he was aggressive and foul-mouthed to patients and colleagues.

Dr Henry Hart, 45, worked at the Bayside Family practice in Ulverston between October 2004 and September 2008 before he resigned. It is claimed he regularly swore and shouted at patients and staff.

The hearing heard Dr Hart “intimidated, undermined and belittled” colleagues on a regular basis and on one occasion refused to grant them computer access so they could make appointments and look at medical records.

He was said to often focus on his computer more than his patients, sitting with his back to them. He is also alleged to have to sought to dictate to staff on whom they should have social contact.

The GMC says his behaviour as principal GP at the practice was “rude, aggressive, unhelpful and unprofessional”.

The panel heard a practice manager, a receptionist, a fellow GP, an administrator and a practice nurse – all women – were among those to make complaints against Dr Hart over claims he was aggressive and foul-mouthed towards them.

Many patients who left the 4,000-patient practice during his stay had complained to nurses and receptionists, the hearing in Manchester was told.

The GMC says he regularly failed to work with colleagues in a way that served the best interests of patients or treat colleagues with respect.

Dr Hart denies misconduct. The hearing is scheduled to last another four weeks.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

The General Medical Council

Related MiP article: Manager in the middle: keeping the peace in practice

“I worked at a West London-based training practice as practice manager 31.5 years ago. The practice had about 80,000 patients and four partners. The senior partner was very rude, aggresive, using foul language in front of her colleagues (partners/registrars/manager). Especially in the practice partners’ meeting! It still hurts me that she used to bully me, saying ‘you are useless’, used to point out things in front of my staff and loudly say, ‘you are useless, see what have you done’. On one occasion she shouted at me in front of the PCT executive officer (where I was having a meeting with her in my room about how to improve patient access). The second time she asked the secretary to clean my room and sort out the filing cabinet while I was on annual leave. When I came back I could not find the files where they used to be. The third time she clearly said, with regard to the staff Xmas do, ‘Oh, if the restaurant is too far for her, she does not have to come to the party.’ Then I realised that she was harrassing me, but unfortunately I could not complain about her. I did mention verbally with staff responsible partner but he said, ‘She is like that, you will have to get on with her’. In the end, I gave up my full-time job and started my business in partnership. Now I am back in practice management again and very happy how the partners treat me! Sometimes still hurts” – Anon, West London

“I worked at a practice as manager many years ago. One of the partners was rude to me in front of staff and patients and was generally a bully” – Name and address withheld

“When I first came into the NHS two years ago one of my colleagues who had apparently regularly bullied the previous manager tried it with me in front of other colleagues. I pointed out that she was wrong (she was) and insisted that she yell her apology across the room as loudly as she had her abuse. I am a short mixed race woman in my late 50s, so have got used to dealing with would-be bullies. I always insist on an apology in same manner as any aggro I get” – Name and address withheld