A doctor has been suspended for misconduct after jeopardising the career of a Bassetlaw paramedic.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Richard Pool posed as an expert witness before the Health Professions Council (HPC) which was tasked with deciding whether the woman was fit to work in light of ongoing mental health issues.
The paramedic, referred to as Ms A, reported Dr Pool to the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2012 after his report on her was thrown out by the HPC over doubts about his expertise.
A week-long GMC hearing into Dr Pool’s own conduct decided his fitness to practise was impaired due to misconduct.
It was judged that his specialism was learning disability and that he was not an expert in general adult psychiatry.
Despite this, Dr Pool went on to write a report suggesting that, based on her psychiatric history, Ms A’s fitness to practise wourld ‘remain wholly impaired for an indefinite period, probably several years’.
The GMC panel said this could have ended Ms A’s career as a paramedic.
GMC representative Rosalind Emsley-Smith said: “You fell significantly below the standard expected in that you had acted outside the limits of your competence.”
Dr Pool currently works in the south west as a medical director for a private healthcare company, having previously worked at a secure hospital in Doncaster.
His solicitor said the panel’s findings had come as ‘a devastating blow’ and he had acted ‘in good faith’.
Dr Pool was suspended from the medical register for three months.
Speaking after the hearing, Ms A, who has since left her job at East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “I feel relieved the GMC acknowledged my complaint and safeguards are now in place to stop Dr Pool from practicing.”
“Had I not challenged Dr Pool, I could have lost my registration and career as a paramedic.”