GMC warning for surgeon

Dr Ash Dutta
Dr Ash Dutta
Have your say

A COSMETIC surgeon has been given a warning by health industry regulators after being cautioned by police over drugs record-keeping.

Dr Ashish Dutta, who runs Sunderland’s Aesthetic Beauty Centre, had received a caution for failing to keep a proper register of controlled drugs for more than five years.

Now the General Medical Council (GMC) has slapped the 48-year-old with an official warning.

The decision was made at a GMC Investigation Committee hearing in Manchester, after an investigation by Northumbria Police.

That came after South Tyneside Primary Care Trust raised concerns over prescriptions issued by Dr Dutta for controlled drugs.

A senior figure called the GMC in August 2009, after receiving a call from Boots Pharmacy about a prescription he had presented for painkillers pethidine, morphine and diamorphine.

The Trust’s Controlled Drugs Officer reported concerns to its Medical Director, who reviewed five of Dr Dutta’s prescriptions.

Police investigations revealed that between October 2004 and August 2010, the doctor’s records were inaccurate and incomplete, and a number of controlled drugs could not be accounted for.

Dr Dutta was issued with a caution at Etal Lane police station in Newcastle in March last year.

Representing the GMC at the hearing on Thursday, barrister Simon Phillips told the three committee members it was “appropriate and proportionate” to issue a warning.

For Dr Dutta, barrister Shaheen Rahman argued that a warning was not necessary, as his client had apologised, was well regarded by colleagues and had made attempts to put his mistakes right.

The warning, which will remain on his record for five years, states: “Failing to keep a proper register of controlled drugs does not meet with the standards required of a doctor.

“It risks bringing the profession into disrepute and it must not be repeated.

“The required standards are set out in Good Medical Practice and associated guidance.”

That states: “You must keep up to date with, and adhere to, the laws and codes of practice relevant to your work.

“You must make sure that your conduct at all times justifies your patients’ trust in you and the public’s trust in the profession’.”