A doctor has been given a second, stricter punishment for having sex with a patient in a hospital toilet.

Dr Ewere Onyekpe was suspended for six months in January last year after a tribunal found he had committed misconduct after beginning a relationship with a patient he met at the Whittington Hospital A&E in Archway.

But this suspension was overturned last year after the High Court found that allegations Dr Onyekpe knew the patient was vulnerable had not been considered, so his sanction could have been too lenient.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) reconsidered the allegations last month and determined that Dr Onyekpe’s fitness to practice was impaired by reason of misconduct and suspended him again, this time for a year.

Following a six-month suspension early last year over the same allegations, the latest hearing found that Dr Onyekpe had performed an “intimate examination” on the patient after she was brought to the Whittington’s A&E department by ambulance on June 5, 2020.

The patient then gave Dr Onyekpe her telephone number on a piece of paper, adding a note saying – “in case you want to be friends or anything”.

The emergency doctor sent the patient a WhatsApp message less than an hour after he had discharged her from A&E, and they exchanged messages over the following days.

On June 10, the patient was brought back to the A&E department by ambulance with chest pains. She saw another doctor, but messaged Dr Onyekpe and he later had sex with her in a hospital toilet cubicle.

The next day, the emergency doctor went to the patient’s home where he again had sex with her.

Messages of a sexual nature, often interspersed with medical advice from Dr Onyekpe, continued to be exchanged between the two until the end of July that year.

The following month, he went on to work for the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust as a specialty trainee in emergency medicine.

In August, the emergency doctor disclosed to the General Medical Council (GMC) that he had been arrested by the Metropolitan Police over allegations relating to the relationship.

Police ultimately took no further action over the allegations.

The latest hearing determined that Dr Onyekpe ought to have known that the patient was vulnerable due to her medical history, yet still allowed the relationship to develop.

The emergency care doctor told the tribunal that he was “deeply sorry” for his conduct, and that he has since identified coping mechanisms to prevent a similar incident happening again.

Last year, a spokesperson for Whittington Health NHS Trust said: “We expect all of our staff to uphold the very highest professional standards at all times and in all that they do.

"We took all appropriate actions as soon as we were alerted to this incident. We have since worked closely with relevant authorities to ensure that the matter could be fully and properly investigated.”

Dr Onyekpe’s medical registration will now be suspended from 28 days after he received written notification of the tribunal’s decision, unless he lodges an appeal. The MPTS hearing concluded on February 29.