Penarth man struck off from Stanwell Surgery after 'offensive' Twitter post
1:20pm Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
A PENARTH man with cystic fibrosis has spoken of his shock after he was struck off from Stanwell Surgery after writing an “offensive” Twitter post.
Mathew Cochrane, 26, received a letter from the surgery on Tuesday (March 12) informing him that he “would have to find another GP practice at which to register”.
In his “offensive tweet”
he wrote “Stanwell Surgery in Penarth is run by a bunch of incompetent ****s”.
Stanwell Surgery said that it could not comment on specific instances because of patient confidentiality, but said in a statement published on its website: “The practice reaffirm its commitment to do everything possible to protect staff, patients and visitors from unacceptable behaviour and their zero tolerance of any incident that causes hurt, alarm, damage or distress.”
Mr Cochrane, a driving instructor, had contacted the surgery last Friday after receiving a letter saying that he needed to see a doctor.
When Mr Cochrane, who usually sees a specialist consultant at Llandough Hospital due to his condition, spoke to a receptionist he said that he was told that the next available slot was three weeks away.
He said that he argued about the practice’s systems with the receptionist and was then spoken to “in a patronising tone” when he complained to the manager about the situation.
He then took to Twitter and, in “the heat of the moment”, posted to his over 500 followers: “#StanwellSurgery in #Penarth is run by a bunch if [sic] incompetent ****s!”
Following his post he received a letter on Tuesday from the practice’s senior partner, Dr Jonathon Evans, informing him he had been deregistered for his “offensive tweet in respect of staff”.
The letter added that he should find another GP practice at which to register.
Mr Cochrane, of Windsor Road, said: “I had forgotten about it until they sent me a letter.
“I was a bit taken aback as I didn’t expect the doctor of the surgery to read my twitter account and how they had linked it to me, as I don’t use my full name on there.”
He added that the tweet was written “in the heat of the moment”.
“I tweet all the time and half the time you don’t even think about it,” he said.
“It was definitely heat of the moment and wasn’t directed at anyone in particular.”
Stanwell Surgery added about its booking system: “Any patient who needed to be seen urgently would be contacted by telephone and seen on the same day by the duty doctor.
“No patient has to wait three weeks to see a doctor, our appointment system allows for ‘on the day’ and ‘48 hour’ appointments.
“If our appointments have gone and a patient feels they need to be seen they are triaged by the duty doctor.”