A PENARTH doctor has been suspended for two months from the Medical Register for misconduct, after he signed off medical forms for taxi driver applicants when he did not have access to their records.

Dr David Richard Foster, a consultant radiologist in Bridgend, provided medicals for four people who went on to obtain hackney carriage /private hire drivers licenses from the Vale Council, between August 2009 and January 2010, charging £25 for each.

The Vale Council requires drivers to obtain such medicals from their GP or a doctor at the same practice who has full access to their medical records.

When questioned by the council, Dr Foster admitted he was not a GP and that he did not have full access to the applicants’ medical records - but said he obtained a full history by questioning each of them. He later confirmed that he should not have conducted the medicals.

Following subsequent examinations by their own GPs, one of the four applicants was identified as diabetic, with a poorly managed condition.

The Vale Council complained to the General Medical Council (GMC) on the grounds that Dr Foster had been ‘less than truthful in completing the forms, had gained financially, and potentially put the public at risk by confirming a driver as fit when he may not be’.

On behalf of the General Medical Council, Paul Bridge - investigation officer for the Fitness to Practise Directorate - said: “Dr Foster’s consultation with the four applicants seems to have been a one-off consultation for the purposes of them obtaining a medical ‘all-clear’ to obtain a license.

“There is no evidence that Dr Foster had a long-standing relationship with any of the patients which would have given him knowledge of their medical histories beyond that which the applicants chose to give him.

“The allegations in this case are serious as they involve repeated dishonesty in a professional context. Such allegations raise a presumption of the doctor’s fitness to practise being impaired.”

Because of the findings, the case was referred to the Fitness to Practise Panel, which considered the case from May 9 to 12.

They heard evidence that Dr Foster accepted his wrongdoing, had suffered anxiety, shame and regret over his actions, and that there had been no previous issues during his 39-year career.

However he was suspended from the medical register for two months.

“The Panel has determined that it is in the public interest, appropriate and proportionate, to impose a period of suspension on your registration,” they said.

“This is necessary to make it clear to you, to the public and to send a strong message to the profession that dishonest behaviour cannot be tolerated.”