Patients charged for false appointments

Essex County Standard: Patients charged for false appointments Patients charged for false appointments

A PSYCHOLOGIST is facing a probe by a health regulator for allegedly charging patients for appointments that did not happen.

Steven Lovett, who worked at the Oaks Hospital, in Colchester, faces 18 allegations relating to three patients between 2008 and 2012. He was practicing as a clinical psychologist at the private hospital at the time.

Mr Lovett attended the start of a lengthy hearing by the Health and Care Professions Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee yesterday.

Two of the patients were allegedly charged for 21 appointments between them, which never took place.

Another was asked to pay for double appointments on several occasions when they were only seen for a single session, it has been claimed.

Mr Lovett also faces allegations of arriving late for appointments for all three affected patients, but still charging the full price.

He is also accused of claiming back travel expenses for visits to see two of the patients when he did not go to see them.

Mr Lovett allegedly made unjustified statements that a patient had underlying psychological problems and did not give the correct treatment for their conditions.

He also allegedly provided false or unjustified statements to GPs saying patients had underlying psychological problems.

Another allegation states he is accused of making false or misleading claims that he was registered with the General Medical Council and stating on his website he was approved by all major medical insurance companies.

Mr Lovett, who qualified as a psychologist in 1984, also made false claims that one of the patients made 50 harassing phone calls, it is claimed.

The hearing, which is being held in London, is expected to last until January 10.

The Gazette contacted the Oaks Hospital for a comment on the allegations, but it refused to give a statement while the hearing is ongoing.

However, the hospital confirmed Mr Lovett, who is selfemployed, was still allowed to practice at the hospital pending the outcome of the hearing.

The costs to the patients for the alleged false appointments have not been disclosed.

Essex Police is not investigating at this stage.

Comments (1)

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12:25pm Wed 27 Nov 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

The more they have the greedier they get. Echo's of the MPs expenses scandal. They all think public money is just there for the taking and nobody will check. In its way this is as bad, if not worse than those who fiddle benefits.
The more they have the greedier they get. Echo's of the MPs expenses scandal. They all think public money is just there for the taking and nobody will check. In its way this is as bad, if not worse than those who fiddle benefits. Say It As It Is OK?

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