A SUSPENDED doctor charged with indecently assaulting a 17-year-old girl patient will return to work under supervision.
Accrington GP, Tanuku Venkata Suryanarayana, was suspended from his post at the town centre Eagle Street surgery in March. He was charged following a police investigation but has always maintained his innocence. He is due to stand trial at crown court.
A locum doctor has been treating patients in Dr Suryanarayana's absence, but on Monday he will return to work with conditions attached by the General Medical Council (GMC).
A statement from Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Primary Care Trust (PCT) states: "The PCT followed Department of Health guidelines which require that doctors should not be suspended from work for any longer than is necessary.
"The exclusion of Dr Suryanarayana has been reviewed by the PCT every four weeks and arrangements have been put in place to provide cover to the practice while Dr Suryanarayana has been suspended."
It is understood that except in life-threatening situations, the doctor must now have another registered practitioner with him when he treats female patients. Or he must be accompanied by an adult member of the patient's family.
The PCT was quick to stress that the GP, of Bradley Court, Brockhall Village, Blackburn, had been suspended as a matter of course.
Its statement says: "The exclusion of a doctor from practice is a precautionary measure and does not imply any pre-judgement on the outcome of court proceedings or the PCT's own disciplinary proceedings."
The doctor was asked to provide detailed accounts of how he could work under the conditions attached to his reinstatement. His acceptance and willingness to work under the conditions were the key to the PCT ending his suspension.
The statement continues: "A special committee of the GMC, known as the Interim Orders Committee, has considered the case and decided to allow the doctor to remain on the medical register.
"The PCT will visit and monitor the doctor at regular intervals to ensure that arrangements are adequate and continue to meet the conditions imposed. The PCT will continue to keep the situation under regular and continuing review, particularly in the light of further legal developments."