Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Addicted Doc Can Keep on Working

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Addicted Doc Can Keep on Working

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jamie Diffley and Rob Kennedy

An addict GP has been allowed to continue in practice despite prescribing patients drugs to feed his own habit.

Dr William Arthur Welburn Richardson, who practised at Pennywell Health Centre, Sunderland, was found guilty in April last year of 14 charges of obtaining drugs by deception and fined pounds 1,400 by Durham Crown Court.

Yesterday, at a General Medical Council hearing, Dr Richardson from Washington, who suffers from an opiate addiction, was allowed to continue in medical practice despite being found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

It heard how patient Darren Taylor, a fellow abuser of codeine-based prescribed drugs, went to see Dr Richardson to kick his habit.

But instead of weaning him off the drug Dr Richardson gave him a constant supply.

He prescribed 200 30mg tablets of Solpadol and then asked Mr Taylor to bring him back 100 of the tablets.

Dr Richardson also wrote prescriptions with the names of family members and collected them himself. …

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