ACCUSATIONS of making sexual advances towards patients have been levelled at GPs in south Essex.

Health chiefs have been informed of a number of cases of alleged “sexualised behaviour” by frontline doctors when dealing with members of the public.

The reports, which do not contain specific details, appeared within confidential papers produced for NHS South Essex’s quality and governance committee.

However, a practising GP from Southend, who asked not to be named, said they demonstrated the “dangers” of the profession.

He said: “Every day, we are at risk of being accused of something like this.

“The nature of our jobs is that we sometimes have to perform bodily examinations, and that can be misconstrued by some patients.

“Those are the dangers we face.”

Minutes of the committee’s meeting show members tasked with overseeing the county’s GPs had raised concerns about the reports.

They were reassured by Katherine Kirk, the chairman of NHS South Essex, who said there was a “robust” process in place for dealing with such cases.

However, she called for the accusations to act as a “general reminder to clinicians to not leave yourself open to accusations and to raise awareness in practices”.

Ian Stidston, director of commissioning, also pointed out two GPs from Southend had already been stopped from practising for behaving inappropriately.

In December 2008, Dr Harish Doshi was removed from the medical register after the General Medical Council ruled he had molested patients over 17 years.

The GP worked at surgeries in the Fairway and Eastwood Road North, Leigh.

A year later, Dr Hasmukhlal Shah, who ran The Surgery, in Rochford Road, Southend, had his contract terminated for inappropriately touching a female patient.

The General Medical Council ruled he had been “sexually motivated”.