A DOCTOR who groped nurses as they helped patients and were unable to defend themselves has been told he can return to work.
Anaesthetist Dr Satpal Singh Jabbal also attacked a nurse who changed the channel of a TV he was watching in a hospital tea room, throwing coffee on her and grabbing her breast.
He was suspended by medical watchdogs for nine months earlier this year, after 28 charges of misconduct against him were found proved.
But a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel had decided Dr Jabbal, who worked at Wishaw General, North Lanarkshire is “fit to practice” once the order runs out later this month.
Dr Jabbal told an MPTS panel last week he had become more religious and had taken up Yoga and anger management classes.
The original disciplinary panel in February said his sexual misconduct had a “profound” impact on his colleagues, and one was off work for 10 weeks.
And the General Medical Council (GMC) – which regulates the profession – called for him to be struck off the register in February, saying his behaviour was “predatory”.
The doctor worked in Wishaw between 2004 and 2009, when he was dismissed over the allegations.
The official MPTS panel report told Dr Jabbal: “In February 2012 you appeared before a Fitness to Practise Panel.
“That Panel found that your actions towards three junior members of staff at Wishaw General Hospital, in a period spanning six years, demonstrated a pattern of pre-meditated and predatory behaviour, escalating in seriousness from goading, to harassment to sexual touching.
“Several of the incidents of sexual touching took place whilst your colleagues were attending to patients in vulnerable positions and were, therefore, unable to avoid you sexually touching them without compromising patient safety.”
A nurse named only as MF described one of the incidents, saying in a statement: “If I was in a compromising position, for example, giving airway support to a patient, I could not move out of his way.
“He found this very amusing.”
Her statement continued: “On one occasion he told me that my bum wasn’t big enough.
“I was embarrassed that I had let a man other than my fiancé touch me.
“I felt Dr Jabbal had a predatory nature towards me singling me out and grooming me to accept the continuous harassment.”
But last week’s MPTS panel heard evidence the doctor had changed his ways.
“You told the Panel that you have attended an anger management course and started doing Yoga,” said the MPTS report.
“You told the Panel that you have changed as a person; you have become more religious and very rarely get angry.
“You stated that you have read Good Medical Practice and researched “insight” on the internet.”
Colleagues also gave testimonies about Dr Jabbal’s character to the panel.
One a doctor S Jagganathan, said: “To the best of my knowledge he has, in all sincerity accepted his shortcomings, has profoundly reflected on his previous sexual misconduct, the incidence of being dishonest and their impact upon public confidence in the medical profession.”
The MPTS panel said Dr Jabbal had recently been working at a hospital in Northern Ireland as well as having a clinical attachment in India.
It said: “The Panel has noted there has been no repetition of your misconduct either at Daisy Hill Hospital or during your recent clinical attachment in India.
“It appears that you have modified your behaviour and the Panel found it unlikely that it will be repeated.”
The panel in February was told he had attacked a nurse, named only as MN, after she changes the channel of a TV he was watching to watch Emmerdale.
He grabbed her breast and threw coffee over her in the October 2001 incident, as well as grabbing crisps from her and jumping on them and pushing over a TV stand.
Accusations of misconduct, including “sexually motivated” actions, relating to two nurses in 2006 and 2007 were also found proved by the panel in February.
After he was sacked, the doctor applied for a job at Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust in 2010.
But he lied in his application, saying the reason for his dismissal by NHS Lanarkshire had been “disagreement with the management”.