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Doctor struck off for 10-year affair with “vulnerable” patient

3 August 2009

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A 60-year-old doctor has been struck off the medical register after a 10-year affair with a “vulnerable” patient that began when she was 43.

Dr Michael Shillingford, who worked at Pulborough Medical Group, had been treating the woman for depression. He ended the affair in 2004, and she made the complaint a year later.

The GP had admitted that his actions were an abuse of his professional position, were inappropriate and not in the best interests of the patient. He is believed to be married with two daughters.

Announcing Dr Shillingford’s erasure, the panel stated: “The panel found that his actions in conducting such a relationship were fundamentally wrong.”

The General Medical Council (GMC) fitness-to-practice panel said his misconduct was “serious and prolonged” and that his actions were “fundamentally incompatible with him continuing to be a registered doctor”.

It noted that his career spanned 32 years, no other complaints were made about him, and when he retired he had 1,000 letters of commendation from former patients.

Copyright © Press Association 2009