August 25, 2008
‘Whip and Thong’ Gp Censured
By ANDREW DAGNELL
A DOCTOR who broke down on a reality TV show has been rapped for insulting his patients and being rude to colleagues.
Dr George Skea worked as a GP for 10 years, witha stint at healthcentres in Rhymney, Caerphilly, and Abertillery, BlaenauGwent, before becoming a psychiatric doctor. He even starred in anITV1 fly- on-the-wall documentary called At The Doctors.
But the work load got too much for him - and the cameras filmed him storming out of his job after he reached the end of his tether in 2003.
Last week the Scot was pulled in front of the General Medical Council for a SECOND time after persistent inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour.
InApril 2007DrSkeawasordered to beregularlyreviewedbyaseniorafter he suggested to a new GP that a female colleague would look good dressed in black leather knee-high boots, a whip and thong.
He also asked a colleague whether they would let him suck their toes.
The GMC panel said: "During a telephone conversation with a paediatric SHO on November 11, 2004 yousaid 'Hi, it's George Skeahere, one of the GPs on call, um, can I beg your indulgence please please and if you want to stick your big toe down I'll suck it as well'.
"On Saturday, February 5 2005, the service manager for Gwent General Practice Out of Hours Service was introducing a newmale GP to female staff at the Mamhilad Call Centre when you said words to the effect of 'wait till you see her in her black leather knee-high boots and her whip and thong'.
"You have admitted that your conduct on both occasions was inappropriate and unprofessional. The Panel is of the view that all colleagues and patients are entitled to expect a reasonable standardof courtesy andmanners from you and it concurred with the assessors in the judgement that your relationship with colleagues and patients was unacceptable."
Along with the fact he had a history of poor record-keeping, Dr Skea was told to report back in 15months' time so the GMC could check up on him.
But during that time he still managed to make mistakes - including being rude about a mentally-ill patient who had been sectioned.
Thisweek theGMCpanel said: "The last of her reports details a complaint made against Dr Skea by a patient regarding a conversation about the patient's detention under the Mental Health Act.
"Although this was described as a 'casual encounter', and although there may have been some misunderstanding about the content of the discussions, it was deemed inappropriate by the investigating team in that it had taken place in a public area.
"ThePanelhasbeenprovidedwitha copy of the investigation report in which it was recommended that Dr Skea write a letter of apology to the patient and reflect on the incident."
He was ordered to bemore polite to his patients - and told he would be scrutinised for another year.
The GMC panel said: "This Panel has not had the benefit of hearing evidence directly from Dr Skea, but it considers that the lack of focus and limited progress may raise questions with regard to harmful deep-seated personality or attitudinal problems and his potential and willingness to respond positively to retraining."
Dr Skea's career has been a controversial one. He sparked patient revolt when his six-month contract at Bridge Health Centre, Abertillery, was not renewed.
Andwhile filmingAtTheDoctors he delivered a tirade against the health service inWales, threatening to throw in the towel at his practice in Rhymney.
At the time he told the film crew: "There are an awful lot of very, very good, very conscientious, very caring people in the Valleys. They really are the salt of the earth.
"But there's another groupthat sees youasapublicservant. Theywantyou in a shed at the bottom of the garden, available like that.
"After a while you just get burned out - you just can't hack it any more.
You need 28 hours a day and eight days a week."
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