Sunderland doctor cleared of sex claims

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A HOSPITAL doctor who performed an intimate examination on a teenager without a chaperone has been cleared of sexually motivated conduct.

The woman, who was 18 at the time, claimed Dr Sarfaraz Malik pulled down her jeans and knickers and performed the procedure without explaining why.

She told a tribunal she was so scared that she just stared at the treatment room wall while Dr Malik prodded her, but she later broke down in tears to a friend.

Dr Malik admitted performing the procedure at Sunderland Royal Hospital in 2010, but said he simply wanted to make sure she didn’t have a pelvic infection. The medic is facing misconduct charges at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, but he was cleared of any sexual impropriety yesterday.

But the panel found he failed to provide good care to the patient because he did not explain why he was undertaking the examination, failed to obtain her consent and failed to engage a chaperone. He also failed to record the findings of the examination.

Panel chairman Karen Heenan told Malik: “The panel considers that you are a caring doctor and rejects the allegation that your conduct was in any way sexually motivated.”

She added: “The panel was concerned that you have a limited experience in conducting internal vaginal examinations.

“The panel is further concerned that you did not follow the principles of good medical practice in that you failed to obtain correctly the patient’s consent to the examination and failed to engage a chaperone.”

The panel will now decide if any of the facts found proved amount to misconduct.If they find Malik’s fitness to practise is impaired, he could face a ban from the profession.

The hearing continues.