Psychiatrist struck off after sex with patient
by Coreena Ford
June 20, 2010
Dr Graham Craig was 61 when he had the affair with the 23-year-old woman – known as Patient A – who had been admitted to his clinic for severe depression.
It is not the first time Dr Craig, now 72 – whose area of practice is Newcastle – had an “inappropriate relationship” with a patient. He was found guilty of unprofessional conduct for an affair with a woman 10 years ago.
Now after a week-long hearing, a General Medical Council panel has erased his name from the medical register and suspended his registration.
A statement issued by the GMC said: “The Panel is of the view that Dr Craig continues to pose a risk to patient safety.”
The affair first started in 1999 when Dr Craig was working in Adelaide, Australia, when Patient A went to his clinic.
It ended two years later when he moved to the UK after being suspended over the relationship with the second patient.
It wasn’t until 2006 that the woman reported Dr Craig, who is understood to have been a locum for the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health Trust until five years ago.
The Manchester hearing heard how Dr Craig kissed Patient A, brushed her hair and massaged her shoulders during an appointment before embarking on an affair, with the pair often having sex in the counselling room twice a week.
Patient A, now 34, said: “I adored Graham. He always listened to me very carefully.
“At that time I thought I was too ugly to leave the house. I was ashamed and humiliated, I didn’t want to see anybody – I thought everybody was judging me.
“I wasn’t a typical 23-year-old, because of my isolation I was quite young and very much looking for a father figure. In Graham, I saw someone who could fulfil that role. I was just thrilled by that.
“Now I think the relationship kept me depressed and dependant and isolated for much longer than I would have been if I’d had a psychiatrist that didn’t do that.
“I feel like I lost years because of him, but at the same time I loved him and I wanted to be with him. Obviously now I realise he had taken advantage of that, and I feel exploited and used, and I hate him.”
The shrink admitted giving her driving lessons, meeting her for lunch and even visiting her at her home, and he admitted to carrying on a “personal” relationship with her after quitting Australia.
But he denied having sex with her, claiming he was impotent – a claim the panel dismissed.
In a damning case conclusion, the GMC panel said: “You continue to deny that you had a sexual relationship with her.
“You clearly abused your position and power as a doctor.
“The Panel takes the view that the seriousness of your misconduct was aggravated by the fact that Patient A was vulnerable because she was young, socially isolated and mentally ill.
“In the light of your limited insight and your continued denial, the Panel is of the view that you still constitute a risk to patients.
“Your serious misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with being a registered medical practitioner.”