A DOCTOR who falsely diagnosed patients who he had not examined with depression, obesity and kidney disease has asked to be suspended for another year. 

Dr Inigo Blasco worked at the former Rochford Medical Practice, in Back Lane, where he made hundreds of inappropriate “bulk computer entries” on patient records.

The first tribunal in July 2018 found he changed medical records for patients, without examining them, to show they were suffering from chronic kidney disease, asthma, obesity and depression.

It also discovered his motive in making the entries was to “improve the performance” of the practice in its achievement of QOF points, which indicates a site’s overall level of service.

Dr Blasco has been suspended since 2018, undergoing regular reviews. 

He has now asked the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service to extend his suspension by another 12 months as his "fitness to practise remains impaired". 

At the second reviewing tribunal hearing in 2019, it directed a further 12-month period of suspension would allow further time for him to “develop his understanding of the findings of dishonesty and allow him time to remediate fully”.

In her decision to agree the extension, legally qualified chair Gillian Temple-Bone said: “I have considered all the documentary evidence and the agreed terms to extend the suspension order by 12 months.

“I am satisfied that there is no evidence to suggest that Dr Blasco is incapable of developing insight and remediating.

“I have borne in mind that the purpose of the sanction is not to be punitive, but to protect patients and the wider public interest, although it may have a punitive effect.”

The review heard unless Dr Blasco, who is recovering from hip surgery, exercises his right of appeal, the period of suspension will take effect 28 days from when the written notice.

Miss Temple-Bone added a 12-month period of suspension is “proportionate”.

She said: “It would be necessary to protect the public and the public interest, whilst allowing Dr Blasco a further period of time to address the findings of the previous tribunals and work towards providing the evidence recommended by the Second Reviewing Tribunal, for which he may need further time given his current need to rehabilitate following surgery.”

The surgery has since shut down and was in the same building as the Puzey Family Practice, which remains open and is separate to the former practice.