Doctor Surfed Porn Sites in His Surgery; Career Lies in Tatters after Images Found

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton

ADOCTOR surfed the web to access graphic images of pornography, mutilation and beheadings between treating patients, a panel has found.

Dr Michael Reynolds Foden, a practitioner in respiratory medicine at Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington, Northumberland, had worked with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust since December 1999.

But his decade-long career collapsed when IT technicians discovered his computer had been used to access inappropriate images of "young" women. When an investigation was launched he denied he had accessed the websites, instead claiming he had given his log-in details to a lodger at his home.

He said he gave his unnamed housemate permission to access Facebook, eBay and his email accounts because Dr Foden did not have internet at his home.

But he eventually came clean and admitted he had used his work computer to cruise online pornography sites.

In a written determination of facts, the General Medical Council said: "The panel noted the evidence of Dr [Dave] Evans, the medical director of the trust.

"He stated that the trust had concerns about the young appearance of some of the females depicted in the pornographic images viewed by Dr Foden.

"It was also concerned that the content of some of the websites viewed by Dr Foden included mutilation, including images of beheading."

An investigation was launched after IT technicians scoured the doctor's internet history. Kevin Craddock, the trust's information governance manager, first discovered that the doctor had been using his work computer to watch pornography after returning from Christmas holidays in 2009.

The investigation found that in November and December 2009 he had combed the internet for inappropriate sites just moments before using the system to log into patient records.

The panel said: "On November 16, 2009, at 2.46pm, Dr Foden's 'log in' was used to access a pornographic site using the computer terminal at the Wansbeck outpatient clinic. …