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Report my former GP

(47 Posts)
viktoria Fri 13-Oct-17 21:13:28

More a WWYD.
This all happened 17 years ago.
When I was pregnant with my first child I went to my GP surgery. My GP was on maternity leave so I saw the other GP. He asked me all sort of questions about how the pregnancy was going and then asked me to stand and he touched my breast. His flat hand on my breast. I can't even remember if he grabbed it as such. It seemed really random so I said to him "can you stop that please. It makes me feel uncomfortable". He stopped and it wasn't mentioned again. At the time I thought it was odd but didn't really dwell on it. I thought maybe that is a standard check when you are pregnant.
With hindsight I definitely think that this was totally inappropriate. I was fine to stand up for myself in that situation, and don't feel traumatised or violated. I mainly just feel pissed off that he thought he could just touch me like that.
However, this GP most likely will have done this/similar things and possibly worse to other women or even girls. And that's what makes me think I really need to report this.
I moved before my son was born, so changed GPs.
He is still in the same surgery and now the most senior GP there
What would you do?
And how do you report a GP and what will happen then? Will I be believed?
Part of me thinks maybe I should just make an appointment with him and tell him not to dare do anything like that again - but then that just seems silly.
And also - I am correct that what he did was inappropriate, aren't I?

NancyDonahue Fri 13-Oct-17 21:20:57

What a horrible thing to happen, op.

I honestly don't know what I would do. Nothing like that has ever happened to me. I'd be torn between wanting to forget it and put it behind me, and wanting to make sure he didn't do it to anyone else.

If you decide to report it, I suppose you go to the police.

NancyDonahue Fri 13-Oct-17 21:23:02

And yes, it was not appropriate. I've had three children and the only time my breast was touched was by a midwife when I was being helped to breastfeed.

theredjellybean Fri 13-Oct-17 21:30:37

While it sounds possibly inappropriate, it was 17yrs ago... In terms of both police and doctors regulatory bodies investigating its probably too late. Definitely regulation an issue has to be within the last 5yrs.
Remember aswell the practice changes and what was deemed 'appropriate examination' 17yrs ago might not now... But was then.
Why do you want to take action now?
If your motive is purely altruistic surely you'd have acted sooner?
While it does happen that doctors act inappropriately for sexual means it is very rare.. And if he was effectively groping female patients I think others might have spoken up in last 17yrs.
I am not condoning his behaviour but please bear in mind the huge stress and enormous damage these kind of complaints cause to perhaps innocent doctors and be absolutely sure it wasn't something just mis interpreted or what was normal procedure for the time, before you make a formal complaint.

Papafran Fri 13-Oct-17 21:30:54

I think you should report it, even years after the fact. He will have done it to others. The only reason he should have examined your breast would have been if you told him you were worried about a lump etc. If so, he should have explained that he was now going to examine your breast with his hand. He sounds like a sick pervert.

JennyBlueWren Fri 13-Oct-17 21:31:45

Yes -what he did was inappropriate.

It would be worth flagging up in part because it might be part of a bigger picture. If you know the GPs name then report them to the BMC. If not then maybe send the practise a letter. Explain what happened and that you would like to report it but don't know the GPs name and see if they can help.

Papafran Fri 13-Oct-17 21:33:21

Remember aswell the practice changes and what was deemed 'appropriate examination' 17yrs ago might not now

17 years ago was the year 2000. You know, when we had mobiles and computers and the internet. Not 1943. It was most certainly not OK for a GP to randomly feel a woman up then.
Report it but obviously they will not do anything about it if it is the only report they have ever had. However, I suspect it won't be.

DJBaggySmalls Fri 13-Oct-17 21:36:42

Yes you can report it, it may add up to a pattern of reports.
It cannot possibly be a mistake. Doctors are taught how to examine people.

Crumbs1 Fri 13-Oct-17 21:42:27

Whilst you can report, in 1980s it was perfectly usual for woman to have breast checks as part of antenatal care.

viktoria Fri 13-Oct-17 21:44:59

Thank you for the replies.
I do know the GP's name.
Initially I didn't consider reporting it as while it had made me feel uncomfortable, I wasn't sure if it really was inappropriate. I didn't lose any sleep over it, but it sort of stuck in the back of my mind. Plus, then I was totally overwhelmed with having a baby, had another one a couple of years later and life was busy.
I did see the GP in question a few years later at a funeral, and I felt uncomfortable and stayed away from him. Around that time I first thought that what he did was wrong and I should maybe speak out.
Then, about 4 years ago the GP's wife tragically died on holiday, and I subsequently found out that one of my sons was playing football with his son.
I don't want revenge - I honestly just think it would be awful if he is inappropriate with other (possibly vulnerable) females.

iklboo Fri 13-Oct-17 21:48:22

Check the GMC's website for how to complain and incidents more than five years ago. I think they have an online complaint form you can fill in and send in.

Gwynfluff Fri 13-Oct-17 21:50:52

This was 17 years ago - so 2000, not the 1980s. I was preganant in 2002 and breast checks were not usual. In fact seeing the GP after early pregnancy was not usual.

If you go to the GMC website and know the name of the doctor - you can check their registration status and whether they have any conditions on practise.

I’m not sure how you would proceed but your ‘gut’ has filtered this out as unusual.

Migraleve Fri 13-Oct-17 21:51:04

Whilst you can report, in 1980s it was perfectly usual for woman to have breast checks as part of antenatal care.. The 1980's were also 37 years ago, not 17 confused

OP I would absolutely make a complaint, as a pp it could be part of a bigger picture

Slimthistime Fri 13-Oct-17 21:57:06

Report it op

Crumbs1, is that you or your ghost?!

viktoria Fri 13-Oct-17 22:04:12

Iklboo I have just been on the GMC website - thank you, I think that's the right way for me to proceed.
I know, the fact that it was 17 years ago and I want to do something about it only now feels a bit weird.
But, every time some sexual abuse story is in the news (such as the Weinstein story at the moment) I feel that many women (me included) don't want to "make a fuss", when something inappropriate happens.
And I'm glad that more and more women "make a fuss".

Crumbs1 Fri 13-Oct-17 22:08:30

Slimthistime My ghost? Not sure I understand. Indeed tims have changed - hence I said report, if you wish. My point is that the notion of abuse/assault has changed over time. I certainly had breast exam when pregnant around 1997/8.

Ivymaud Fri 13-Oct-17 22:10:43

OP didn't say it was the 1980s, Crumbs1.

I would consider mentioning it, OP. As others have said, it could be part of a wider picture.

guddy Fri 13-Oct-17 22:12:26

Similar thing happened to me 17 years ago....isn’t that creepy?
We have moved since but after that incident we moved gps because was petrified to see him again.

Ivymaud Fri 13-Oct-17 22:13:14

I didn't have a breast examination as part of antenatal checks in 1997.

nicenewdusters Fri 13-Oct-17 22:17:06

OP. I think you should report this. When I was at university I went to the GP's surgery that dealt with students. After a couple of hours of observation I was told I'd need an internal examination. Male GP.

As he began he said don't worry, I do this all the time, it's just like a vet examining a cow. Afterwards he left the curtain open whilst I awkwardly pulled up my underwear. He was sitting at the end of the room at his desk, but I felt he was watching me whilst looking at his notes etc.

He then said as it's getting late would you like me to give you a lift home? I said no straight away and immediately left.

I've only ever told one person about this. It felt wrong, dirty and exploitative at the time. I'm sure he got a kick out of what happened.

I wish I'd said something at the time.

nicenewdusters Fri 13-Oct-17 22:20:53

I've never written that down before. Reading it back makes me feel sick. I think I totally minimised it at the time.

viktoria Fri 13-Oct-17 22:23:37

Guddy, that is really weird. Have you done anything/are you considering doing anything about it?

theredjellybean Fri 13-Oct-17 22:25:01

I didn't say don't report it, but you need to be aware of the damage you may do, the fact you will need possibly to give statements, if it went to court or a doctors tribunal you'd be cross examined etc.
Plus your motives would be examined... Closely...
I had private antenatal care in early 2000 with female consultants... All included breast exams. Was standard then.
One found a lump... She said she always did breast exam on first pregnancy appointment to check for lumps or abnormalities that may get hidden as breasts enlarge during pregnancy.
Be prepared also for the fact if you complain to the gmc you won't get to find out anymore... You won't get to hear what else they may or may not know.
So if your motive is really Cus you are being altruistic you will have to be content with just knowing you 'might' have made a difference.

viktoria Fri 13-Oct-17 22:28:22

Nicenewduster, that does sound horrible.
I'm sorry about what happened to you. But, yes, I think minimising it is totally a way how to try to process/deal with it. And to protect yourself.
Do you know if this doctor is still around?

Tentomidnight Fri 13-Oct-17 22:29:18

Years ago when I was at university I reported my GP for inappropriate behaviour along the same lines.
I took advice from another surgery on what to do, and reported directly to the GMC. A year later I was asked to provide a statement to the GMC's lawyer in London. I wasn't the only complainant, as it turned out. Months later I received a written update from their lawyer to say that the GP had been 'disciplined' but not struck off, and that the other Partners at his practice had been informed (including his wife). I was disappointed with the outcome, but felt satisfield that I had at least exposed him.
Please trust your instincts, and so sorry this happened to you flowers

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