Intended for healthcare professionals


Psychiatrist is suspended from medical register for dishonesty

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 25 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1151
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    Adam Osborne, brother of the United Kingdom’s shadow chancellor George Osborne, has been suspended from the medical register for six months for misconduct.

    Dr Osborne’s suspension was imposed by the General Medical Council with immediate effect, preventing him from taking up a new psychiatry job he had been due to start in April with Central and North West London NHS foundation trust.

    He was found guilty of dishonesty in prescribing haloperidol and lorazepam under a false name for a cocaine addicted escort girl with whom he had been having a relationship.

    Alyson Leslie, chairman of the GMC fitness to practise panel, said Dr Osborne admitted starting a relationship with the woman, Miss B, in 2007 when his long term partner was working away from home and he felt isolated. He refused to say in public session where he had met her.

    Dr Osborne tried to fill the prescription at the pharmacy at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, where he was working at the time as a trainee, after she phoned him and he told her to come to the hospital. But the bogus name did not show up as a hospital patient.

    Miss B had first gone to Manchester Royal Infirmary, his previous place of work, experiencing acute psychotic side effects of cocaine addiction but she refused to be admitted. It emerged that she had some quetiapine tablets with her, which Dr Osborne had given her.

    He was also found guilty of misconduct in prescribing the smoking cessation drug Zyban for a family member and the contraceptive pill for his long standing girlfriend, in breach of the rule of good medical practice that a doctor should not prescribe for family and friends except in an emergency.

    The panel heard that Dr Osborne, 33, had since passed his exams for membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, had married his long term partner and was about to become a father, had decided to follow a career in rehabilitation psychiatry, and had been offered a full time job despite the GMC proceedings.

    But Mrs Leslie said Miss B had not been in a position to make rational decisions about her own care. Dr Osborne had failed to act in her best interests and had allowed his judgment to be clouded by his relationship with her.

    He had told the panel that his main concern was to help Miss B, and “appeared unable to grasp that an act of dishonesty remains an act of dishonesty, whatever the motivation behind it,” she added.

    “You appeared to be of the view that damage to public confidence in, and the reputation of, the medical profession would only occur if the circumstances were in the public domain,” Mrs Leslie told him.

    “The panel recognises that the personal and professional consequences for you and your family will be significant, but in reaching its decision the panel considers that the seriousness of your misconduct is such that a signal must be sent to you and the profession that your conduct is not acceptable.”


    Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1151

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