A married doctor at a North London hospital has been suspended after he had sex with a patient "to help with her chest pain."
Dr. Ewere Onyekpe started a sexual relationship with the patient which included the exchange of WhatsApp messages with medical advice along with naked photos.
Patient Complained of Chest Pain
Onyekpe had been working at Whittington Hospital, Archway, North London, when a female patient visited the hospital complaining about back pain initially, on the evening of the June 5, 2020. He discharged her but before leaving she gave Dr. Onyekpe a piece of paper with her telephone number on it, an employment tribunal heard.
Dr. Onyekpe initiated contact with the patient to ask how she is feeling and to call her "pretty." She then went back to the hospital, complaining of chest pain, on 10 June 2020. Dr. Onyekpe was on duty, but the patient was treated by another doctor.
Dr. Onyekpe Had Sex with the Patient in Hospital Toilet
The patient messaged Dr. Onyekpe on WhatsApp that she was at the hospital. Dr Onyekpe steered the conversation towards sex asking if she has sex as it helps with pain. She responded by asking for any suggestions and the doctor replied: "You know I want to .... You but I could get into trouble," adding: "In the UK it is not allowed Doctor and patient."
The conversation became more graphic and at 11.16pm, Dr. Onyekpe sent her a message asking if he could perform oral sex on her before she left the hospital. He then had sex with the patient in the hospital toilets. The sexual activity was consensual but at Dr. Onyekpe's suggestion.
The next day, Dr. Onyekpe went to her home home and again had sex with her again. In the weeks that followed, there were then "inappropriate, sexually motivated" WhatsApp conversations about their private lives, flattery of the patient, exchanging of naked photographs as well as medical advice.
Dr. Onyekpe Suspended for Six Months
The relationship between Dr. Onyekpe and the patient petered out, but on August 3, 2020, Dr. Onyekpe was arrested on suspicion of raping the patient. The police decided to take no further action against Dr. Onyekpe in regard to the rape allegation.
In a tribunal last month (January 7), Dr. Onyekpe said in a statement that he had the support of his wife and pointed out his otherwise 'unblemished career', while admitting to all the allegations. He has also received counselling from a pastor in the United States.
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" and 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.