Doctor suspended after getting patient pregnant
A doctor who got one of his patients pregnant and then helped to arrange an abortion has been suspended from medical practice.
Stephen Carr-Bains, 56, had sexual relationships with two vulnerable patients while working at a surgery at the University of Surrey.
When one of the women fell pregnant he arranged for a termination but failed to record the details in her medical records.
Dr Carr-Bains was suspended from medical practice for a year following a two week hearing at the General Medical Council (GMC).
But he was told he would have been struck off the medical register had it not been for 49 pages of testimonials from fellow doctors, patients and friends.
The GMC heard that Dr Carr-Bains began a sexual relationship with a woman identified as Patient A in December 1995 after she visited him at the Guildowns Group Practice in Guildford, Surrey, suffering from mental health problems.
When she fell pregnant in 1999, he arranged for her to have an immediate termination, but failed to make any record of the abortion.
The GMC hearing, which took place in Manchester, was also told that he failed to put a letter from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in her medical file and did not refer her for post-termination counselling.
In June 2003 he began a relationship with another woman, known as Patient B, who told the GMC panel, they often slept together in her university accommodation.
Both women had been suffering from mental health problems.
Andrew Kennedy, representing Dr Carr-Bains said his relationship with Patient A was one of “deep love and friendship over a long period of time”.
He added that Dr Carr-Bains had otherwise had a “blameless career spanning 32-years with no clinical concerns and utter devotion to patients and the wider profession”.
But the GMC was told Dr Carr-Bains had “abused his position of trust” to “exploit vulnerable patients”.
The panel chaired by Dr Roger Ferguson, ruled in its findings that Dr Carr-Bains’ behaviour had been “wholly unacceptable” and that he had shown a “flagrant disregard” for the doctor patient relationship.
The report read: “You exercised poor judgement in engaging in a sexual relationship with two patients registered at your practice. To this end, the Panel concluded that you have failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries and differentiate between the importance of your role as a GP and personal relationships.”
The report added: “Your actions have shown a flagrant disregard for the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.”
But Dr Carr-Bains avoided being struck off the medical register after a large number of testimonials were submitted describing him as a “highly competent, conscientious, hard working and respected doctor”, who was “caring” and “kind”.
The GMC panel stated that his case would be reviewed shortly before the period of suspension expired.
Dr Carr-Bains became Student Medical Officer at the University of Surrey in 1999 before resigning from his post at the Guildowns Group Practice in 2006.
A spokesman for the university said the college was “dismayed” at the “breach of trust”.
The spokesman said: “Dr Stephen Carr-Bains was employed by the GP practice that supplied services to the university and our students.
“We are dismayed by Mr Carr-Bains clear breach of trust and welcome the GMC’s ruling on the case which reflects our own determination to protect and treat student patients with respect at all times, affording their safety the highest level of priority.”