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Independents' Day

Three-year suspended sentence for fraud GP

A GP has been fined more than £185,000 and given a suspended three-year prison sentence after he admitted 73 counts of fraud against the NHS.

Dr Charles Brendan Boyle had faced 12 charges of making false statements, 16 counts of forgery, 16 counts of using false instruments for forgery, 11 counts of false accounting and 18 of theft. All the offences were committed between 1991 and 1999, when he was a GP in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

Boyle's deceptions included claiming he was paying associated doctors to work at his practice two-and-a-half days a week, though in reality they had been there on an ad hoc basis; claiming for drugs that had not been dispensed; and forging national insurance claims for two employees.

Judge Jeffrey Foote QC told Boyle he had taken account of the fact he had practised as a singlehander for 33 years without a complaint against him. But he ordered Boyle to pay costs of £185,030 within 12 months or face a two-year prison sentence.

Boyle, who is understood to be retired, had restrictions placed on his registration by the GMC in 2001.

These have been amended and remain in place until October 10, 2003, due to 'the prima facie evidence of inappropriate and irresponsible dispensing of prescribed drugs which could pose a serious risk to patients'.

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