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GP struck off for allowing ex-addict to run surgery

A GP has been struck off for knowingly employing a suspected criminal with a history of drug misuse who was given access to blank prescriptions and controlled drugs.

Dr Colin Ogdon, a singlehanded GP in Prestwich, Manchester, gave Darren Gerrard 'full run' of the practice, allowing him to sit in on consultations after informally employing him as a financial adviser.

Within weeks of arriving at the practice, Gerrard had changed locks, gained access to confidential parts of the computer system and locked away certain records where only he could get them.

Some patients were so taken in they started to call the man 'Dr Gerrard' even though he had no medical qualifications, the GMC heard.

After five months he was telling other staff: 'I'm in charge' and forbidding them to speak to a doctor.

Dr Ogdon shared a health centre with three other practices.

Gerrard, formerly a patient at the practice, had a history of drug and alcohol misuse and was known to police and suspected of criminal activity.

For 10 months, between November 1999 and October 2000, Gerrard had access to drug misusers and issued prescriptions for methadone that Dr Ogdon had signed while off sick.

Police and health authority officials eventually removed Gerrard from the practice and Dr Ogdon was suspended in October 2000.

The GMC said Dr Ogdon's failure to act following complaints from practice staff was 'inappropriate, irresponsible, an abrogation of his duty to protect patients and not in his patients' best interests'.

The GMC also accused Dr Ogdon of irresponsible prescribing after he prescribed methadone and diazepam to a patient who subsequently overdosed.

In its ruling, the council said Dr Ogdon was guilty of serious professional misconduct and had undermined the principles of trust, integrity and confidentiality.

It said Dr Ogdon might have had long-term mental health problems and therefore may have been more vul-

nerable to manipulation by Gerrard.

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