A GP who prays for his patients refutes ‘scandalous attempt at humiliation’ by NHS chiefs as he is ordered to take an £1,800 training course designed for doctors allegedly harmful to sex (although has been DELETED by a separate monitoring investigation)
- Dr Richard Scott, 62, could now lose his job over his ‘spiritual care’ of patients
- He refused to attend the three-day course on ‘maintaining professional boundaries’
- The doctor was ‘outraged’ by the course which he said was designed for ‘sex miscreants’
- In 2019, a ‘very vulnerable’ patient ‘felt discomfort while using prayer’
A GP who offers to pray for patients has been ordered by NHS bosses to attend a training course designed for doctors dealing with allegations of sex with patients.
Dr Richard Scott, 62, who is not accused of sexual misconduct or inappropriate physical contact with patients, refused to attend the three-day ‘maintaining professional boundaries’ course, accusing health chiefs of a “scandalous” attempt to “humiliate” him.
He faces losing his job amid the row over his practice of providing ‘spiritual care’ to patients with depression, anxiety or addiction.
In 2019, the National Secular Society complained that a “very vulnerable” patient “felt self-conscious about the use of prayer” by Dr Scott, of Bethesda Medical Center in Margate, Kent.
The GMC guidance advises doctors: “You can only talk about your personal beliefs if a patient asks you directly about them.”
Although he was cleared after an investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC), NHS England continued a separate investigation and ordered him to take the £1,800 course at his own expense.
Dr Richard Scott, 62, who offers prayers for his patients, was ‘outraged’ after being ordered by NHS bosses to attend a training course designed for ‘sex miscreants’ – in his words
In 2019 the National Secular Society complained that a ‘very vulnerable’ patient ‘felt self-conscious about the use of prayer’ by Dr Scott, from Bethesda Medical Center (pictured) in Margate, Kent
A description of the course outlines what to do with situations where there are allegations of “inappropriate emotional or sexualized relationships with colleagues, sexualized relationships with patients, inappropriate use of touch, sexual harassment, sexualized or inappropriate”.
Dr Scott said: ‘He was basically targeting sex miscreants. There was nothing I could see that was relevant to me. I was outraged.
NHS England says the course is applicable as it covers a ‘wide range of professional boundaries’.
A court will hear Dr. Scott’s appeal tomorrow. Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which supports Dr Scott, said: ‘What is NHS England doing to subject this hardworking doctor to intimidating investigations to try and end his prayer. the patients?’
Stephen Evans, chief executive of the National Secular Society, said: “Consultations should be patient-centred, rather than driven by a doctor’s religious agenda.”
NHS England declined to comment.