Advising with empathy and experience

Tribunal hears of misconduct allegations.

A senior doctor who claimed she could cure terminal cancer invaded the deserted farmhouse of a patient who was undergoing treatment and left her a note saying: "I'm here for you", a medical tribunal heard.

Consultant hematologist, Dr Finella Brito-Babapulle, clambered over a gate to the woman's driveway and crept past her two guard dogs after she left her job following clashes with staff about untested treatments, it was claimed.

The 62-year-old then allegedly sneaked into the empty property and left the letter on the kitchen table with her home telephone number, email address and a message asking the patient to contact her.

Police were called after a farmhand, who knew the homeowner, 65, was in hospital for a rare bone marrow condition, noticed lights to the farmhouse had been switched on.

The incident was only 24 hours after Dr Brito-Babapulle had left her job as a locum consultant at St Mary's Hospital, Isle of Wight, amid claims she had criticised colleagues about their cancer treatments. She had also attempted to pressurise other doctors into administering inappropriate treatment, it was alleged.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service was told Dr Brito-Babapulle, from Richmond, London, had joined St Mary's in August 2013 for a four-month stint but left after just 10 weeks.

In the days before she left, the patient - known as Patient E - had received treatment from a different doctor but Dr Brito-Babapulle, who was helping file a report on her condition, unexpectedly turned up at the clinic and gave the patient the investigation result herself. /more...

During the conversation, she diagnosed Patient E with Systemic Mastocytosis and told her she would "cure her symptoms.” 

The letter was later left at Patient E's home while she undergoing a day of out-patient treatment in hospital, the tribunal was told.

A General Medical Council lawyer Paul Wakerley, said: "The farmhand was concerned about lights that appeared to be on. The patient had not left lights on.

"He entered the house and found an envelope on the kitchen table. It gave the doctor’s home telephone number in London, her email address and said 'I'm here for you, I do hope you are all right, I hope you're not concerned about not seeing me. Please contact me on the number directed as I leave the Isle of Wight tonight'.

"This upset the patient, an uninvited stranger had been into her home. The house may well have been unlocked but it was a farmhouse, accessed by a long driveway, with a locked gate. The patient described her ownership of two territorial dogs at the property.

"The episode left the patient deeply distressed. The trust reported the matter to local police and a witness statement was provided at the time. The GMC expert doesn't comment on entering the patient's address and leaving a letter but it hardly requires an expert to speak about the inappropriateness of entering an address without permission.

"She must have climbed over, or found some other way of getting past a locked gate and getting passed territorial dogs."

Dr Brito-Babapulle denies misconduct. She admits leaving a letter for Patient E but denies entering the house without permission.