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A GP with an unblemished 30-year record is facing a fight to save his career after he smacked a child who kicked him in the groin.

Dr Martin Wolfson is being investigated by the GMC and could face misconduct charges over the incident in which he says he 'reflexively' smacked the three-year-old.

Dr Wolfson, a GP in Surbiton, Surrey, told Pulse he 'deeply regretted' the episode in July last year but had endured six separate investigations and was the victim of 'over-reaction'.

He said: 'I am not in favour of smacking children. It was a mistake and I apologised and hoped that was as far as it would go.

'But what has happened since is an over-reaction.'

Some 200 patients have written letters of support to the GP after he produced a leaflet appealing for backing for his case.

Dr Wolfson was working for out-of-hours co-op Tham-esdoc when the three-year-old girl was brought in by her parents. He said the girl did not want to be examined and kicked him in the groin. In 'severe pain', Dr Wolfson said he smacked her on the hip in a

reflex reaction.

He was suspended by Kingston PCT but reinstated in November.

He has also been investigated by child protection authorities, suspended from out-of-hours shifts by Thamesdoc and faces a civil action being taken by the child's parents.

The police also cautioned him for common assault.

Dr Wolfson said he was heartened by the 'wonderful things' patients had written about him, but he was finding it difficult to cope with the stress of an impending GMC hearing. 'It's something that is hanging over me,' he said.

The GMC confirmed the case had been referred to the professional conduct committee. A spokeswoman said Dr Wolfson had never previously been referred to the PCC.

Kingston PCT said it undertook a 'full investigation' of the case and a panel reinstated Dr Wolfson.

By Nerys Hairon

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