Dr Ashish Dutta, a cosmetic surgeon based in the North of England, has been suspended from practice for nine months following a finding of professional misconduct. Dr Dutta was found to have inappropriately pressurised a patient into undergoing a breast augmentation procedure by offering a discount as well as laughing when passing on a patient’s complaint of sexual assault by another doctor.
This is not the first time Dr Dutta, the nominated member for the European Society of Aesthetic Surgery on the European Commission for Standardisation of Aesthetic Surgery Services, has been before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal. In 2012, he was suspended for one year following his involvement in breast augmentation surgery that went wrong.
He avoided being struck off the medical register after his representative claimed that he would be left bankrupt and staff at his clinic, Aesthetic Beauty Centre, would be made redundant. Suspending him, the panel ruled that “any reasonable person would be appalled by Dr Dutta’s behaviour”. He has reportedly shown limited remediation over his actions.
Dr Dutta qualified in Calcutta in 1988 and, after moving to the UK, he worked in hospitals for 10 years in a variety of specialities before becoming a full time GP in 1996. He opened two private cosmetic surgery clinics in Sunderland and Newcastle in 2000 and 2004. In 2014 and 2015 he also worked at the NU Cosmetic Clinic in Newcastle and Liverpool before this closed after failing a Care Quality Commission inspection.
Elise Bevan, a solicitor at Penningtons Manches Cooper who specialises in cosmetic surgery claims, said: “The Medical Practitioners Tribunal found that Dr Dutta had failed to obtain informed consent in the cases of three patients. One of those patients was not sure what procedure she was having and another said that, if she had been informed of the potential complications, one of which occurred, she would not have gone ahead.
“With cosmetic surgery obtaining informed consent from a patient is probably the most important aspect of the treatment process. Informed consent is more than just signing a form. It is a process that involves an exchange of information, sometimes over more than one discussion. The length of time and amount of information needed will vary from patient to patient and from procedure to procedure. It’s important that the patient doesn’t feel rushed into making a commitment and that they know they can change their mind at any time.
“Consent is the doctor’s responsibility. Patients need information about risk to make informed decisions. Doctors should do their best to understand the patient’s views and preferences and the outcomes which most concern them.
“It would seem that Dr Dutta saw the consent process as an administrative burden rather than a key part of the treatment he provided. Disappointingly, it has been reported that he has not accepted many of his failings. Dr Dutta will face a review hearing at the end of the suspension.”
Since this article was published, Dr Dutta has won an appeal against the decision to suspend him from practice. The court also ruled that allegations of misconduct against him in 2009 should not have been brought before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal under the 'five year rule'. Further information is available here.