Suffolk doctor struck off after calling female complaints 'vindictive'

Patient medical history form on clipboard with pen and eyeglasse

Robert Keane has been told he can no longer practise as a GP - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A doctor with over 30 years of experience who practised in Suffolk and Norfolk has been struck off from the medical register after he called complaints a "vindictive pile of female cr*p". 

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service erased Robert Keane from the General Medical Council at a hearing in December. 

Mr Keane, who was on locum at Lakenheath Surgery, was originally suspended in 2020 due to complaints by female NHS staff that had questioned his patient care. 

The former doctor at Old Catton Surgery in Norwich was being asked by NHS England to respond multiple times to concerns about his record-keeping and treatment of two patients in 2018. 

This is when Mr Keane said the complaints against him were "just a vindictive pile of female cr*p" and told another NHS worker: "I look forward to seeing you in a real court."

He also failed to comply with an investigation by NHS England by not filling out a reflection and questionnaire template, contacting or meeting with a medical adviser, confirming whether he would attend an NHS panel or return multiple work detail forms. 

At an NHS discipline panel in 2018, Dr Keane explained his comments by saying: "Well, you know, 99% of the complaints in the NHS come from females and I’ve been doing my job for 33 years.

Most Read

"It’s not my finest hour but that’s my explanation."

Mr Keane was then asked: "Does that imply that all complaints by females are cr*p?"

He replied: "No, no, it’s a judgement on my 33 years. It’s a personal judgement."

A representative for Mr Keane said in 2018: "He doesn’t think they reflect what he’s normally like. His emails were based on incomplete information and personal devastation. Robert Keane wants to address you on that and apologise."

But the medical tribunal in 2020 said this apology "was not spontaneous and has not been repeated since".

"The Tribunal considered that Dr Keane’s unprofessional behaviour towards colleagues breached a fundamental tenet of the medical profession," it stated. 

At a hearing in December 2021, Dr Keane did not provide any evidence to the tribunal after previously telling the GMC he had retired and would not engage with the process. 

So the tribunal chair Julia Oakford determined his behaviour was "unacceptable and unprofessional" and erased him from the medical register.

Mr Keane can appeal but is unable to practise as a doctor.