Sandon v. General Medical Council (GMC)  UKPC 18 (27 January 2003)
Privy Council Appeal No. 47 of 2002
Dr. Peter Henry Gauvain Sandon Appellant
The General Medical Council Respondent
THE PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE
OF THE GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL
REASONS FOR REPORT OF THE LORDS OF THE
JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL OF THE
27th January 2003, Delivered the 27th February 2003
Present at the hearing:-
Sir Andrew Leggatt
Sir Philip Otton
[Delivered by Sir Andrew Leggatt]
(i) failing to respond to three letters of complaint from the daughter of an elderly patient dated respectively 7th December 1999, 5th January 2000 and 7th February 2000;
(ii) sending to the Council what falsely purported to be a copy of a reply dated 23rd December 1999 to the first letter of complaint, though none had been sent;
(iii) failing to respond to two letters from the Council dated 19th June 2000 and 17th July 2000 asking for copies of a patient's medical notes;
(iv) sending to the Council what falsely purported to be a copy of a reply dated 26th July 2000 to the letters from the Council, though none had been sent;
(v) in 1998 failing to pay to a receptionist an allowance of £560 received from the West Sussex Health Authority for that purpose;
(vi) in 1998 and 2000 consistently failing to provide promptly information sought by the Child Health Bureau about the immunisation records of children registered with his practice;
(vii) in that period 1998 to 2000 treating opiate drug users and prescribing drugs to patients not registered with his practice without keeping adequate records of treatment;
(viii) in the period March to May 2000 suffering his premises to be filthy and unhygienic, and to have fire exits blocked with rubbish, no fire extinguishers, no adequate security at the surgery, and drugs left in accessible places;
(ix) in 1999 and 2000 failing to send patients' registration forms to the area health authority, thus being unable to access their medical records and offering services to patients while still registered with another doctor.
"You have admitted that, over a period of time your conduct in relation to patients was unprofessional and not in their best interests. The conditions and standards of your practice were well below that expected of a competent general practitioner and, in allowing this, your conduct was irresponsible, unprofessional and not in the best interests of your patients. Additionally, your conduct in prescribing drugs to a number of opiate drug users who are not registered with your practice was inappropriate, irresponsible and not in the best interests of your patients.
Very seriously, the dishonest behaviour that you have displayed on a number of occasions and over a period of two years has no place in, and undermines the standing of, the medical profession. Doctors are under an obligation to act in an honest and trustworthy manner."