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Is this the rudest GP in Britain? Foul-mouthed doctor 'lost 800 patients in reign of terror that left staff in tears'



By James Tozer

Last updated at 8:22 PM on 20th April 2010





  • Staff 'had to apologise to shocked patients on his behalf'
  • 'Intimidated and belittled colleagues during reign of terror'
  • 'Reduced an eight-year-old girl to tears in his surgery'


Allegations: Dr Henry Hart is accused of being abusive to patients and staff


A foul-mouthed family doctor who turned his back during consultations and terrorised his staff drove 800 patients away in only four years, it was claimed yesterday.

Dr Henry Hart, described as a 'Jekyll and Hyde' character, could be so rude and abrupt that fellow staff at his practice had to apologise to shocked patients on his behalf, a disciplinary hearing was told.

The 45-year-old would stare at his computer rather than looking at patients and routinely belittled and intimidated colleagues, subjecting them to tirades of abuse in public, the General Medical Council was told.

Yesterday Dr Hart faced a string of disciplinary offences over his four years as principal GP at the Bayside practice in Ulverston, on the fringes of the Lake District in Cumbria, during which time 800 of the 4,000 patients were said to have moved to other practices.

'Dr Hart's conduct during that period, unfortunately, was repeatedly and consistently poor,' Sharon Beattie, counsel for the GMC, told a fitness to practice hearing in Manchester.

'He was habitually rude and aggressive towards staff, colleagues and patients alike.'


She said that when one patient, a blacksmith, came in complaining of back pain, Dr Hart replied: 'Change your job.'

Another patient took her eight-year-old daughter to see him but he was so rude that the girl burst into tears.

He was also said to have frequently sat with his back to patients throughout consultations, ignoring them and concentrating on his computer.

Staff were also on the receiving end of his 'menacing' manner, Miss Beattie said.

When a receptionist asked him to see a temporary patient the hearing was told he replied: '****ing hell, I'm not seeing a patient, they're too late, they'll have to go to hospital.'

Former receptionist Linda Peters described Dr Hart as being 'something of a Jekyll and Hyde in relation to his behaviour'.

Miss Peters said he was sometimes 'relaxed and approachable' but at other times he became angry and she was frightened of him.

On one occasion she said he berated her, standing 'toe-to-toe' with her with his face 'red with rage'.



'Menacing': Dr Hart with a female colleague outside the hearing in Manchester


Another worker who felt the force of his temper was a temporary agency member of staff whom he told to '**** off' when she refused to buy him a sandwich, saying it was not what she was employed to do, the hearing was told.

A former nurse practitioner who left when she was not allowed to take pre-booked holidays said Dr Hart subjected staff to a 'tirade of abuse' in public areas of the practice, describing his behaviour as 'out of control'.

The 'paranoid' doctor was accused of searching the offices of fellow GPs at the practice, while changing the locks on his own for fear they would do the same thing.


The panel was told that Dr Hart altered medical notes taken by his colleagues and refused to discuss important patient care with them.

One described him as 'overbearing and domineering'.

A nurse had her access to computerised medical records restricted after questioning him for altering patients' notes, while another was asked if she was 'stupid' when she sought advice, it was alleged.

Dr Hart finally quit the practice without warning in September 2008, leaving a note saying he was 'no longer able to work' there due to 'pressure' from the local primary care trust and other practices.

The GP, from Kirkby-in-Furness, denies 33 counts of unprofessional behaviour.

It is also alleged that he allowed his wife Carole, who worked as practice manager at the surgery, to act aggressively towards colleagues and staff.

The hearing continues.

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