A DOCTOR has been suspended for falsely diagnosing patients with depression, obesity and kidney disease.

Dr Inigo Blasco was working at Rochford Medical Practice when he inappropriately amended records belonging to hundreds of patients.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal found Dr Blasco had, without examining patients, changed medical records to show patients were suffering from chronic conditions including asthma.

The tribunal heard this had been done because the surgery could earn income through its management of chronic conditions.

The issue only came to light after a patient made a formal complaint.

The patient had issues with life insurance as medical records falsely recorded them as suffering from depression and on anti-depressants.

The incident sparked an audit of the surgery’s patient records where more bulk recording was discovered.

It revealed Dr Blasco had made bulk entries on 14 separate dates where six were deemed to be inappropriate.

He had diagnosed 180 patients with chronic kidney disease, 210 patients with obesity and 211 patients with depression.

A further 78 patient records showed asthma reviews had taken place without the patient having attended an appointment at the practice.

The tribunal found Dr Blasco’s actions constituted serious misconduct and acknowledged that he had accepted fault and would not repeat them.

Dr Blasco, who left the practice in 2013, told the hearing his actions were “stupid” rather than dishonest.

He also accepted he was “a risk to patients” but said there was no future risk to patients or the reputation of the medical profession as he had stopped doing bulk entries and would never do them again.

He said he felt “guilty for his inappropriate conduct” but that his intentions were “good” before apologising for his behaviour.

The Rochford Medical Practice was closed down earlier this year due to a number of concerns including a dispute between Dr Blasco and the other resident doctor, Dr Jose Bajen.

The Care Quality Commission reported the dispute impacted on patients and staff and highlighted serious failings with the surgery.

The doctors came to an agreement with the Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group to close the surgery in June.

The surgery’s 9,000 patients were welcomed at the neighbouring Puzey Family Practice which shares the same building in Southwell House, on Back Lane.

It is understood Dr Bajen now treats patients at the Puzey surgery.

The outcome of Dr Blasco’s tribunal, held in the last week of July, has just been published.

The tribunal ruled that Dr Blasco’s licence will be suspended for 12 months with immediate effect and will be reviewed at the end of the suspension period.

Dr Blasco did not respond to a request for comment.

The incidents regarding changes to records took place between 2010 and 2012.