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GMC hearings led to ‘GP’s children living on the poverty line’

A GP has accused the GMC of ‘ruining his life’ and leaving his children living on the poverty line after the regulator decided to re-hear a case of serious sexual assault, despite its initial guilty verdict being thrown out by the High Court.

Dr Eduoard Yaacoub’s four-year ordeal had left him £100k out of pocket, leaving his ‘children living on the poverty line… unable to put fuel in his car… unable to stay in a hotel in Manchester’, his lawyer said.

He was last week found innocent of all charges of sexual assault of a patient in January 2010, having been originally been banned by the GMC fitness-to-practice panel in 2011 after it preferred the evidence of his accuser, an elderly disabled woman. This verdict was quashed last year when a High Court judge ruled that the GMC panel did not give sufficient reasons for accepting the patient’s evidence as reliable.

However, the married father-of-two was hauled back in front of a fitness-to-practise panel in Manchester to answer charges of sexual assault again, leading them to be described as ‘bad losers’ by Mary O’Rourke QC, who was defending Dr Yaacoub.

The panel cleared him of all charges, but it accused him of ‘departing from professional standards’ for offering the woman a religious gift.

Speaking outside the hearing, Dr Yaacoub said: ‘It has ruined my life for four years. I didn’t rape the patient and didn’t do anything sexual.’

‘They [the GMC] are now saying I breached the doctor/patient relationship by offering a blessing,’ he added. ‘This is ridiculous. My profession was ruined, my reputation was ruined, my family was ruined and after four years, instead of saying sorry, they are saying you are breaching relationships by offering a gift.’

Ms O’Rourke said: ‘As a result of these false allegations by this witness he has suffered a loss of reputation, profession and income.’

‘His children are living on the poverty line, he is unable to put fuel in his car, he is unable to stay in a hotel in Manchester.’

Addressing the criticisms raised during the hearing Tom Kark, QC, for the GMC, said: ‘Comments have been made by Ms O’Rourke that the GMC should apologise. She spoke about the basis being poor losers and spoke about wickedness and a conspiracy.’

He added: ‘The GMC has a duty to protect the public. The reasoning given by Mr Justice Kenneth Parker did not say the patient’s evidence was incredible. The failure was the failure of the panel to give sufficient reasons [for the findings].’

‘Once the patient indicated a willingness to give evidence, the GMC acted absolutely appropriately in bringing the case before you and allowing you, an experienced panel, to make a decision on it.’

Dr Yaacoub arrived in the UK in 1998 and undertook a number of jobs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kent and Manchester working in gynaecology and obstetrics before becoming a GP.