Fraserburgh doctor’s fitness to practice impaired after punching patient in the face

Saltoun Surgery in Fraserburgh (Picture: Duncan Brown)
Saltoun Surgery in Fraserburgh (Picture: Duncan Brown)

A medical tribunal has found a Fraserburgh doctors fitness to practice impaired after he admitted to a charge which included punching a patient.

Dr Martin Thom, who is listed as a doctor at Saltoun Surgery, was before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) today and yesterday after being convicted of assault in November 2015.

Mr Thom admitted before the Tribunal to a charge where he attended to a 25-year-old man who had collapsed in the street - apparently under the influence of alcohol or drugs - pushed him so he banged his head on a wall and punched him in the face twice.

Making the decision, Mrs Michele Codd, MPTS tribunal chair, said: “Your assault was perpetrated on a man whom you had been called upon to assist in your professional capacity as a doctor.

“Furthermore this was someone who appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was therefore vulnerable.

“By your admission of guilt, you accepted that you had exceeded the level of force that was justified to deal with the situation before you.”

The Tribunal did note that Dr Thom had demonstrated remediation after his conviction by attending courses and that repetition of his actions was “highly unlikely.”

However due to the nature of Dr Thom’s conviction the Tribunal found that his fitness to practice had been impaired.

Mrs Codd said: “In these circumstances, the Tribunal has concluded that a finding of impairment is required in order to mark the seriousness of your conviction and thereby address the public interest in maintaining public confidence in the profession, and in declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct and behaviour, as set out in the overarching objective.

“Accordingly, the Tribunal has determined that your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your conviction.”

Sanctions against the doctor have as of yet not been decided.

A spokesperson for NHS Grampian said that they would not wish to comment while the process is ongoing,