Heart specialist

Cardiologist accused of assaulting patients during intimate medical examinations cleared

Dr Sumit Basu, 61, consultant cardiologist at Lewisham Hospital (pictured outside court)

A heart specialist who has been accused of assaulting patients during intimate medical examinations has been cleared of any wrongdoing following a four-year legal battle to clear his name.

Dr Sumit Basu, 61, a consultant cardiologist at Lewisham Hospital, was charged by police with sexually assaulting three women in 2016 while treating them at a south London hospital.

The married father-of-one was found not guilty on all ten counts by the jury, but was sentenced at a disciplinary hearing charged with sexual misconduct towards a female medical intern.

The aspiring medical student, then 18, claimed that Basu told him to remove her bra during three consultations before holding her breasts in his hands.

She also said he performed an unnecessary internal exam on her during an abdominal exam.

The woman who was due to pass her baccalaureate before enrolling at prestigious Kings College London medical school and assumed exams to check her elevated heart rate were routine.

A year later, she reported Basu to the General Medical Council saying she realized he had behaved inappropriately because she had developed “better knowledge of anatomy” during her studies.

Two other women aged 29 and 32 then came forward to file a complaint.

At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester (pictured) Basu, of Lewisham, was cleared of any sexual behavior following a two week hearing.

At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester (pictured) Basu, of Lewisham, was cleared of any sexual behavior following a two week hearing.

Basu, an occasional lecturer at the university, denied any wrongdoing and insisted that his exams were “perfectly correct”. He also called the allegations “devastating”.

At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, Basu, of Lewisham, was cleared of any sexual behavior after a two week hearing. He was cleared of criminal charges at Woolwich Crown Court in September 2017.

At the time of the medical consultations, it emerged that the teenager was using LSD and ecstasy and that she was going through a difficult time with her boyfriend who had gone on vacation to Venice without her.

She did not tell Basu about his drug use when he treated her for apparent heart palpitations, saying anyone in “a similar position would be too scared and ashamed.”

The investigation began in 2016 after the medical student said she was subjected to unnecessary invasive procedures when she was referred to Basu for “constantly elevated heart rate.”

Now 24, she told the hearing: “He introduced himself, asked me to explain what was going on and I told him that the palpitations were happening frequently and I explained that there were episodes where I felt like I was going to pass out and a few episodes when I did.

“I told him I sometimes had chest pains. He asked me for my medical history and my social history and he wanted to know if I was drinking, smoking or taking drugs.

“I said I was doing my A-Levels and wanted to be a doctor and applied to medical school and my first choice was Kings.

“He said he sometimes teaches at Kings and he could see me there, that we could meet there.”

She continued, “I remember he felt a pulse on my wrist and the next thing he put his flat hand on my chest for a few seconds. I don’t remember if he felt the throbbing of the apex, but he felt the top of the breast area and I remember he was also using a stethoscope.

“He touched my chest as he looked for lumps and he said he couldn’t find anything and there was nothing to worry about. I trusted the doctor and it wasn’t something that occurred to me. You trust the doctors to do the right thing.

She added: “I remember him touching both my breasts with both hands. I tried to forget it but it didn’t change – it was the same kind of exam all four dates. I might have known about chaperones, but I didn’t have the courage to ask for one.

“I had to take my top and bra off, but I was afraid to ask for a chaperone, I trusted him and it was like we got mad. It wasn’t my job as a patient to do that. I wasn’t able to say “you’re doing this right, you’re doing it wrong” – I wasn’t even a medical student at this point.

‘I trusted him. I said nothing. I trusted him. I was an 18 year old female and he was a doctor in a position of trust.

“I didn’t think to report it to the nurse and assumed it was just normal, stupidly.

“I think about the fourth date a lot in my head. I blocked some stuff. I trusted him, I thought it must be relevant if the doctor did, there must be a reason for it.

“It was my perception at the time. I was 18 and a half at the time, I wasn’t confident then, I’m still not really confident now. An abdominal exam does not require someone to put two fingers in your vagina.

In a statement, Dr Basu said, “My standard instruction to a patient is to remove the clothes from the chest but keep the bra on. I am absolutely certain that this is the wording I would have used with this patient, as with all of my other patients on whom I am about to do a heart or chest exam.

“I then had rare situations where the patient did not hear or understand all the instruction and took off their underwear. In this situation, I would either tell the patient to put her bra back on or cover herself with the blanket that is still on the examination table. I don’t remember that this happened recently so I have no reason to believe that it happened here.

“Either way, like I said, I would always ask the patient to cover up somehow.”

He also denied performing an internal exam and added, “I always offer patients a chaperone unless they are accompanied by a companion. Even then, I often ask them if they would prefer a nurse to be. present.

The court said there were “inconsistencies” between the statements of Patient A’s witnesses at the hearing and to the police.

President Angus MacPherson said of Dr Basu: “There is no suggestion that he ever behaved dishonestly.

“The only criticism of him, which wasn’t really a criticism, was that he was riding on politeness.

“The court is aware of a number of issues that may have crystallized with Patient A at the time and must grapple with the issue of the credibility of witnesses alone. Dr Basu is unlikely to behave as he claims.

Dr Basu received medical training in Calcutta, India, before coming to Britain in 1986.

Her father and sister are also doctors and her mother is a nurse. He married as a young junior doctor in 1988.

Before starting work at Lewisham Hospital in February 2004, he worked at Royal Brompton Hospital in Uxbridge and Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot, Berkshire.

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