A DOCTOR alleged to have sexually touched a patient at St Mary's Hospital has today (Friday) been cleared of misconduct.
It was alleged Dr Fasal Kotta touched the woman's vagina and breasts in a way that was clinically unnecessary and sexually motivated, when she attended the hospital's Emergency Department with lower abdominal pain in March, 2011.
But a fitness to practice hearing, conducted in Manchester this week by the Medical Practitioners' Tribunal Service (MPTS), on behalf of the General Medical Council (GMC), threw out the allegations and cleared Dr Kotta of any wrongdoing.
He was described as a good doctor and a man of good character.
The MPTS panel, chaired by magistrate Sheila Hollingsworth, found a vaginal examination had not taken place.
It described evidence given by the patient and her sister, who was present at the hospital, as inconsistent and unreliable. The patient said she had not had a vaginal examination before, which was disproved by medical notes provided by her GP, and her recollection of events conflicted with notes taken at the hospital.
The patient's sister admitted she had not seen Dr Kotta carry out a vaginal examination and had not been paying much attention.
A statement of findings published today by the MPTS said: "Notwithstanding the lapse of time from the date of the alleged incident, the panel found a number of inconsistencies in Patient A’s evidence.
"In particular, Patient A denied any observations had been made during her initial assessment, but recordings of temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure were recorded in the notes.
"The panel further noted Patient A gave evidence she was anxious and distressed by what had occurred during the alleged vaginal examination. However, the panel noted this was not reported by any of the nurses, who would have provided an objective independent record.
"Generally, the panel considered Patient A’s evidence to be unreliable.
The statement told Dr Kotta: "Furthermore, the panel has heard from professional colleagues and received written testimonials that confirm you are a good doctor and a man of good character."
Dr Kotta admitted he had not worn gloves, called for a nurse chaperone or recorded a vaginal examination had been carried out.
The panel accepted gloves had not been necessary, as no internal examination had been carried out, and that the patient's sister had acted as a chaperone. It accepted no record had been made of a vaginal examination because no such examination had taken place.
It dismissed allegations Dr Kotta had inappropriately touched the woman's breasts while examining her chest with a stethoscope.
A spokesman for the Medical Defence Union, which represented Dr Kotta, said after the hearing: "Dr Kotta is delighted to have been exonerated in relation to the allegations made against him. He has always denied that he had behaved inappropriately in any way towards the patient.
"He would like to thank his family, friends and colleagues at St Mary's Hospital for all their support throughout the investigations.
"He cannot comment further due to his duty of patient confidentiality."