Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECS to 80360, or email »
Patients charged for false appointments
12:10pm Wednesday 27th November 2013 in News
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 are closed on this article.