General Medical Council scraps second fitness to practise inquiry into conduct of Dr Ravindra Sondhi

Dr Ravindra Sondhi will not face a second inquiry into his conduct

Dr Ravindra Sondhi will not face a second inquiry into his conduct

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Health officials have decided to scrap a second inquiry into the conduct of a doctor who sent racist messages to staff and took £100,000 in "advances" from a GP service.

Dr Ravindra Sondhi was set to go before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel yesterday over the allegation that he prescribed medication over the telephone and failed to provide good clinical care to a patient.

The fitness to practise hearing was set to last a week and if he had been found guilty he could have had conditions attached to his medical registration or could have been suspended or struck off from the General Medical Council.

But instead the GMC has decided to close the case after receiving ‘new information’.

A GMC spokesman said: "We take account of all the information provided to us and always act on the best available evidence.

"In this case, information came from the doctor and his representatives at a very late stage and on the basis of this new information we have made the decision to close this case."

Dr Sondhi underwent a fitness to practise hearing in April of this year and he was cleared of several charges in relation to his management of Croydoc.

Croydoc was set up in 1995 as a cooperative group of local GPs before winning lucrative NHS contracts from Croydon, Kingston and Sutton and Merton PCTs to provide out-of-hours care to patients.

But Dr Sondhi consistently failed to answer the telephone when on call and at other times only one doctor would be on call covering a million potential patients.

And the first tribunal into Sondhi revealed he sent racist messages to other staff members, including referring to a black African colleague's "bongo bongo family".

The medical practitioners’ panel ruled that these messages were offensive but just short of misconduct.

The panel said his poor note keeping during this period did amount to misconduct but heard he has been on online courses since then and there has been no recurrence of the problems.

It ruled his fitness to practise was not impaired by the misconduct.

Dr Sondhi made £100,000 of withdrawals from the NHS-funded Croydoc but the tribunal panel found he had got authorisation for the ‘advances’.

And they found it would not be appropriate to give the doctor, who practised at Portland Medical Centre, Portland Road, South Norwood, a warning.

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