An Ipswich doctor who was found to have groped a woman while carrying out medical procedures has been cleared to return to work after a six-month suspension.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal found that Dr Narendra Kochar had remediated his misconduct and ordered for his suspension to be immediately revoked.

The consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist who worked for InHealth, was suspended in November after he repeatedly touched a nurse’s breast with a gloved hand and made sexual comments to her.

Speaking at the determination hearing today, Dr Kochar noted cultural differences between India, where he undertook his medical training, and the UK.

He said in his self-reflection: “I confronted my own biases, attitude and behaviour. I recognise that I needed to challenge ingrained patterns of thinking.”

The doctor continued, suggesting he was ignorant of a culture of misogyny and predatory behaviour within medicine before his suspension and self-reflection.

He said: “I tended to be oblivious to what has been happening. This is something people do not talk about.

“Reading these articles and doing professional development courses opened up this window and made me aware this is quite eminent within the NHS. Going forward in the future, I will never be part of this culture.”

The tribunal, chaired by Miss Gillian Temple-Bone, found that Dr Kochar had a low risk of repeating the misconduct and that there was a strong public interest to allow him to return to work.

They determined: “With regard to insight, Dr Kochar continued to maintain his behaviour was inadvertent but he respected the 2023 Tribunal’s findings. Notwithstanding this he provided extensive evidence of CPD (relevant training courses and reading) he has undertaken in order to address the concerns raised and he has reflected upon how his actions impacted Nurse A.

“It was apparent from Dr Kochar’s reflections that he had developed his understanding of professional boundaries, abuse of power and sexual harassment in the workplace. He had also thought about strategies to protect colleagues working with him in the future in the context of procedures in a confined space.

“Dr Kochar has participated in colleague discussions which clearly demonstrate that he has taken steps to develop his insight. He has attended either face to face or over the telephone, 30 meetings with one mentor, and 71 meetings with another, since November 2023.”