Ely Physiotherapist Bear Hugged Topless Woman As Part Of Her Creative Healing
PUBLISHED: 13:51 04 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:32 04 May 2010
An Ely physiotherapist who bearhugged a topless woman patient in what he described as creative healing for her neck and shoulder pain has been suspended for a further year. In June 2007, Brian Beber was cleared of misconduct by a disciplinary panel.
An Ely physiotherapist who "bearhugged" a topless woman patient in what he described as "creative healing" for her neck and shoulder pain has been suspended for a further year.
In June 2007, Brian Beber was cleared of misconduct by a disciplinary panel. However, the Health Professions Council's Conduct and Competence Committee found that his fitness to practice was impaired on the ground of lack of competence and imposed conditions on his right to practice.
Then, in October 2007, after Mr Beber indicated in correspondence that he had no intention of complying with the conditions, the panel suspended him for a year.
Now, in a fresh decision, the panel has extended his suspension for a further year, until October 17, 2009.
A decision just published states: "The panel has decided that if Mr Beber were permitted to return to practice after October 2008, he would still be a risk to the public by reason of lack of competence and his lack of insight. The panel has had regard to its duty to protect the public as well as maintaining public confidence in the profession and upholding and maintaining standards of the profession.
"Balancing these factors, the panel has decided that it is necessary to extend the Suspension Order for a period of 12 months from October 2008. This is necessary to adequately protect the public and is a proportionate sanction in the circumstances."
At the hearing in June 2007, the HPC was told that Mr Beber was working at the Crown Treatment Centre, Littleport, Ely, when the 39-year-old woman attended him for treatment for "neck and shoulder pain."
The HPC said in its initial decision that Mr Beber was said to have told the patient to go topless for him to rub in olive oil.
Panel chairman Christine Mills said in those findings : "On August 2, 2006, he provided treatment to the woman, identified only as Patient A in respect of neck and shoulder pain.
Ms Mills continued : "During treatment she became concerned that Mr Beber was treating her inappropriately in asking her to remove her bra whilst he stood in front of her and in giving her what she has described as a bear hug whilst she had a towel at the front of her body."
Ms Mills said that, while a "bear hug" was in keeping with Step 4 of the Stephenson method of Creative Healing "which anticipates the patient will be held firmly by the therapist using both arms", Mr Beber was said not to have not explained that he intended to use a "creative healing" process in his treatment rather than a conventional method.