Former Croydoc GP Dr Ravindra Sondhi, who sent racist messages, faces second fitness-to-practice tribunal

Dr Ravindra Sondhi faces a second Medical Practitioners Tribunal

Dr Ravindra Sondhi faces a second Medical Practitioners Tribunal

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A doctor who sent racist messages to staff and took £100,000 in "advances" from a GP service is to face a second inquiry into his conduct.

The new allegation against Dr Ravindra Sondhi is that he prescribed medication over the telephone and failed to provide good clinical care to a patient.

He will appear before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service on Thursday for a fitness-to-practise hearing for the second time this year.

The first tribunal ruled in April that Dr Sondhi was fit to practice after clearing him of several charges in relation to his management of Croydoc.

Croydoc was set up in 1995 as a cooperative group of local GP's before winning lucrative NHS contracts from Croydon, Kingston and Sutton and Merton PCT's to provide out-of-hours care to patients.

But Dr Sondhi consistently failed to answer the telephone when on call. At other times only one doctor would be on call covering a million potential patients.

The organisation's failings were aided by an amazing catalogue of errors and oversights by NHS bodies, board members and watchdogs which were supposed to be holding Croydoc accountable for its taxpayer funded service.

During the first tribunal into Sondhi it was revealed he had referred to a black African colleague's "bongo bongo family".

But the panel concluded he had not been "dishonest" in taking £100,000 out of the NHS-funded Croydoc because the withdrawals, between July 2008 and August 2009,  had been authorised. 

The GP, who practised at Portland Road Medical Centre in South Norwood, said he intended to pay back the money by the end of the year. 

The panel also cleared him of failing to provided adequate care to patients by taking out-of-ours calls from his home in Fakenham, Norfolk, 125 miles away from Croydon. 

The tribunal ruled the GP had arranged adequate cover. 

It concluded the messages, in which Indian-born Dr Sondhi also joked that foreign doctors should be sent home "like Enoch Powell said", were offensive. But the panel said his fitness-to-practise was not impaired by the misconduct. 

The upcoming fitness to practise hearing is expected to last a week.

If found guilty, Dr Sondhi could have conditions attached to his medical registration or could be suspended or struck off from the General Medical Council. 

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