Fury as children's doctor is suspended from NHS for six months... for using his ... trends now
Dr James Ip was issued a six month suspension from working as a medic after admitting to using his wife's free travel pass
A leading paediatrician has been suspended from his NHS job for six months after using his wife's travel pass.
Dr James Ip was found to have acted dishonestly in a case brought against him by Britain's medical regulator.
The General Medical Council (GMC) claimed his actions risked undermining public confidence in the profession.
But the decision sparked fury among medics, who called it disproportionate given no patients were put at risk from Dr Ip's actions.
Commentators said the GMC was harming patients by taking a hardworking medic out of the NHS while the health service wrestles record backlogs in the wake of the Covid pandemic,
He is employed as a consultant paediatric cardiac anaesthetist at Great Ormond Street Hospital (pictured) one of Britain's, and the world's, leading children's hospitals
His 'dishonest' behaviour was brought to light by a Transport for London ticket inspector at Hammersmith Station (pictured) in February last year
Dr Ip works as a consultant paediatric cardiac anaesthetist at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), one of the world's leading children's hospitals.
He originally qualified in London almost 20 years ago.
Dr Ip was caught using his wife's travel pass by a Transport for London (TfL) ticket inspector at Hammersmith Station on February 7 last year.
He also admitted to using the card, which entitled his wife to free travel, on 54 other occasions between 13 December 2021 and 4 February 2022.
It is not clear why his wife, who was not named in the tribunal's report, was given a free travel pass.
Dr Ip admitted entering a compulsory ticket area without a valid ticket in court in July and was convicted and issued a £500 fine.
He was also ordered to pay compensation of £297 and costs.
The GMC, who presented the case for Dr Ip to be suspended to the medical tribunal panel, admitted that his actions didn't pose a risk to patients, there was no evidence his care was substandard, and that he is a 'well respected and a skilled clinician'.
However, they said Dr Ip had acted dishonestly by using an free travel pass that he was not entitled to.
Regulators also raised the alarm because it was not an isolated incident, with it happening over a period of two to three months.
They added that Dr Ip's actions also represented a significant breach of GMC's code, which states: 'You must make sure that your conduct justifies your patient’s trust in you and the public’s trust in the profession.'
In a statement Dr Ip claimed that part of the reason he used the pass was resentment about NHS staff having to pay to use TfL services during the pandemic, but added he now recognised that as wrong.
'I see now that this rationalisation was illogical, immoral and wrong,' he wrote in a statement explaining his actions to the tribunal.
'I recognise that fare evasion is a form of theft and free loading from other passengers and there was no excuse for not paying for my tickets.
'I have since admitted my wrongdoing and apologised to Transport for London for my conduct.'