A Dundee doctor has been suspended from practice for eight weeks after being convicted of assault.
Dr Cathal Steele, a one-time lead doctor at Ninewells Hospital’s department of immunology, was issued with the order at a hearing convened by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).
The tribunal concluded that Dr Steele’s ability to practise had been compromised after he was convicted of an assault on two people on April 10 last year at Dundee Sheriff Court, for which he was later allowed to walk free.
The MPTS – part of the General Medical Council (GMC) – reviewed Dr Steele’s case at its headquarters in Manchester on February 25, 26 and 27 before coming to its decision.
Full details of the hearing are yet to be made public, but the watchdog concluded that his fitness to practise had been “impaired”.
The GMC code of conduct which doctors adhere to includes a condition doctors are seen to be “trustworthy and acting with integrity and within the law”.
However, Dr Steele will have until around the end of March to appeal against the MPTS decision.
The MPTS says it uses suspensions as a deterrent measure that can “send a signal” to doctors and the public about the conduct expected of those in the profession.
The watchdog’s guidelines say: “A period of suspension will be appropriate for conduct that is serious but falls short of being fundamentally incompatible with continued registration.”
Dr Steele graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2002 and last had his registration to practise as a doctor renewed in 2009. A specialist in immunology, he is cited in at least 11 research papers on the topic.
NHS Tayside said it was unable to comment on matters relating to individual members of staff.
Dr Steele could not be reached for comment.