This case concerned a chiropractor who started a sexual relationship with a former patient. The allegation was aggravated by the fact the chiropractor’s boss and employer reported the relationship to the General Chiropractic Council under the whistleblowing provisions and also alleged that the chiropractor had lied to the clinic about the relationship continuing.
Dishonesty and breaching sexual boundaries are probably two of the most serious allegations that can be levelled against health professionals and had this case been found proved the chiropractor would have almost inevitably been struck off.
Jonathan Goldring instructed by Paul Grant of BSG solicitors represented the chiropractor over the course of the two years that this case finally took to conclude. This was a complicated case that involved no less than ten contested legal applications by the GCC all of which were unsuccessful. The chiropractor was eventually found not guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.
This case involved the most serious and sensitive of issues and is a stark reminder that health professionals must be extremely careful when deciding whether to pursue relationships with former patients.
The 2008 Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (now Professional Standards Authority) guidance on sexual boundaries between healthcare professionals and patients is a good reference point, though most regulators will also have their own guidance on this subject.