Doctor had sex with patient in A&E toilets ‘to help with chest pain’
“I appreciate that what I did was awful and that I let down myself and my family and my colleagues”
A north London doctor has been suspended after he had sex with a patient in the A&E toilets “to help with her chest pain”.
Married medic, Dr Ewere Onyekpe, was working at Whittington Hospital, Archway, when the female patient went to A&E suffering with back pain initially, on the evening of June 5, 2020.
He discharged her but before she left she gave Dr Onyekpe a piece of paper with her telephone number on it, an employment tribunal has heard.
Dr Onyekpe initiated contact with the patient to ask how she was feeling and called her “pretty”.
Dr Onyekpe was on duty when she returned to the A&E department, complaining of chest pain, on June 10, 2020 but the patient was treated by another doctor.
The patient then messaged Dr Onyekpe on WhatsApp that she was in A&E.
Dr Onyekpe is alleged to have steered the conversation towards sex and asked if she had sex as it helps with pain.
When she asked for any suggestions, Dr Onyekpe replied: “You know I want to …. you but I could get into trouble”.
He then added: “In the UK it is not allowed. Doctor and patient.”
As the conversation became more graphic, at 11.16pm, Dr Onyekpe sent her a message asking if he could perform oral sex on her before she left the hospital.
Dr Onyekpe then had sex with the patient in the hospital toilets and although it was consensual, it was at Dr Onyekpe’s suggestion.
Dr Onyekpe went to the patient’s home the following day, and again had sex with her.
There then followed “inappropriate, sexually motivated” WhatsApp conversations that involved details of their private lives, his flattery of the patient, and the exchanging of naked photographs that were interspersed with medical advice.
After the relationship between Dr Onyekpe and the patient petered out, Dr Onyekpe was arrested on August 3, 2020, on suspicion of raping the patient on June 10 of that year.
However, the police decided to take no further action against Dr Onyekpe in regard to the rape allegation.
While admitting to all the allegations, Dr Onyekpe said in a statement made to a tribunal last month that he had the support of his wife and pointed out his otherwise “unblemished career”.
He has also received counselling from a pastor in the United States.
According to his representative, the doctor accepted he should have ignored the telephone number the patient had given him and should have explained to her that he could not contact her.
In his witness statement he added: "I appreciate that what I did was awful and that I let down myself and my family and my colleagues.
“I also accept the because the power imbalance between me as a doctor and her of the patient, it can be perceived that I took advantage of my professional position in pursuing this brief sexual relationship, consensual though it may have been."
In their findings, the tribunal found that the nature of the text communication and the two sexual encounters, one of which was on the hospital site, was "deplorable".
It was added that it would bring the medical profession into disrepute.
Dr Onyekpe was suspended for six months with immediate effect.
A review hearing has been scheduled, where he will be given the opportunity to show how he has reflected on his behaviour, and why he should be allowed back onto the doctor's register.
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