JPH registrar charged with sexual assault

STEPHEN PULLINGER A special advice and help line has been opened up to possible former patients of a doctor who has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a Norfolk hospital.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

A special advice and help line has been opened up to possible former patients of a doctor who has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a Norfolk hospital.

Rashid Sandhu, 29, who has worked in two spells at the James Paget University Hospital (JPH), Gorleston, since 2003, has also been accused of 17 offences of making indecent photographs of children.

Police said the alleged sexual assault happened at the hospital and Sandhu has been suspended from his duties since their investigation was launched in early June.

After an exhaustive inquiry, involving close working with senior managers at the JPH, Sandhu was charged by police and bailed to appear before Yarmouth magistrates at 9.30am on September 10.

Det Insp Matt Sharman, the officer leading the inquiry, said: “One thing we have considered is that other people might be concerned that something has happened to them and that is why we have set up the advice line with the hospital. I must stress there is no evidence of other patients being affected, but we are keeping an open mind.”

Most Read

Volunteers manning the patient advice and liaison office line - 01493-453240 - would in the first instance be able to find out whether or not a concerned patient had been treated by Sandhu, who lives in Gorleston.

He said their investigation had involved seeking the advice of other medical experts and liaising with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, a government agency which seeks to combat child abuse.

Det Insp Sharman said the offence relating to downloading photographs was unrelated to the Pakistan national's work at the hospital.

Adrian Pennington, chief executive at the JPH, said: “We can confirm that Dr Sandhu was employed at the JPH from August 2003 to April 2005 as a senior house officer, and from May 2006 to the present day as a specialist registrar in our accident and emergency department.

“As soon as the police contacted the trust with serious allegations a full investigation was launched. The doctor was immediately excluded from duty at the hospital and the trust continues to work closely with the police.”

Mr Pennington stressed that prior to employment thorough checks were made on all clinical staff. These included checking employment history, clinical qualifications, visa status (if from abroad) and full police checks.

“I can confirm all these checks were completed in this instance and they did not highlight anything of concern. Our trust has robust child protection and audit procedures in place that reflect national policy and we take a multi-agency response to any allegation of this type. Patient safety is paramount,” he said.

“Investigations have shown there is no more we could have done to stop this individual allegedly choosing to ignore trust policy and procedure.”

It is understood Sandhu originally trained in his home country but passed the necessary exams to begin practice in England.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter