GP made ‘man boob’ jibe to overweight teenager and slapped patient’s bottom, a tribunal heard

Dr Amit Banerjee
Dr Amit Banerjee

A GP examined an overweight teenager’s “man boobs” and said to his mother: “He’s nearly got bigger ones than you”, a tribunal heard.

The mum claimed her son went “mad” after Dr Amit Banerjee made the quip at his surgery in Clarence Street, Stockton-on-Tees.

Dr Banerjee, from Wynyard, is accused of sexually motivated behaviour towards the woman, know as Patient A, on five separate occasions.

He is alleged to have conducted an inappropriate internal examination, asked her to take her knickers off, groped her breasts and made an inappropriate comment.

The allegations date as far back as 1996 but the patient did not complain to the practice until 2009, after Dr Banerjee smacked her bottom when she was being weighed, the tribunal heard.

The GP is facing a fitness to practise hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, where he is accused of misconduct.

Patient A told the panel that she had attended the surgery with her then 19-year-old son who had concerns about his weight and was uncomfortable with his “man boobs”.

After examining the teenager’s chest behind a screen, Patient A claims Dr Banerjee looked at her “straight in the eye” and said: “He’s nearly got bigger ones than you.”

“I remember it like it was yesterday. He was looking straight at me.

“My son was stood behind him and the nurse was at the computer,” said Patient A.

“He said it as he was walking out the door. My son didn’t want to leave it.

“I just didn’t know how to go about it. My son went mad about it.

“We both took offence to it.”

She added: “I remember all the incidents plain as day. I don’t think they will ever leave me.”

Patient A later returned to the surgery for another consultation with Dr Banerjee when she claims he spanked her bottom as she got off the weighing scales.

She told the panel the incident left her feeling “dirty and humiliated”, prompting her to make a complaint about the medic’s behaviour.

“He 100 per cent asked me to get on the scales and he smacked my bottom when I was getting off and that’s the last time I ever saw him,’ said Patient A.

“I never asked for an apology. I didn’t want that. I just wanted someone to acknowledge that there’s a danger there.”

Dr Banerjee denies the allegations and his defence say the woman invented the story after she was accused of neglecting her young daughter.

“You have been trying to avoid the blame for the apparent neglect by blaming Dr Banerjee for the treatment of you,” said David Morris, defending.

Patient A claims her treatment has left her ‘frightened’ of doctors, scared she might “punch” them when she makes a visit.

“I’m frightened of doctors because of what Dr Banerjee done, but I try to put it to the back of my mind,” she said.

“I’m scared in case I will punch one of them because I will get arrested.

“If someone touched her [my daughter] wrongly I might punch one of them.”

The General Medical Council (GMC) allege that in 1996 Dr Banerjee asked Patient A to remove her trousers and knickers before conducting an internal digital examination.

It is claimed he failed to explain what he was doing, get the patient’s consent or use gloves and that the procedure was not clinically justified.

On another occasion he is said to have asked the woman to “take her knickers off” without explaining why.

In 2001 Dr Banerjee is accused of undertaking a breast examination using both hands, without consent, explaining the purpose or offering a chaperone.

He is also said to have examined her son’s (Patient B) naked chest and made an inappropriate comment, between 2006 and 2008, as well as smacking Patient A’s bottom from behind at a later date.

If found proved Dr Banerjee could face conditional practice, suspension or being struck off.

The GP first came to the North East in 1981, having spent 11 years in London after moving to the UK from his home in Calcutta, India.

Within two years he had opened his own practice in Stockton and within a couple of years he had more than 2,000 patients.

His practice has since merged with several others to form one central development in the town’s Clarence Street.

When the allegations came to light he was placed under conditions preventing him from examining female patients.