A former Southampton surgeon who took a Class A drug and assaulted his lover has been banned from the profession for 12 months for serious misconduct.

Perbinderpal Grewal, 50, was suspended over his behaviour in 2018 and 2019, when he was working as a vascular surgeon at University Hospital Southampton.

It follows a hearing by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) in Manchester.

The panel heard allegations that Mr Grewal attended work whilst under the influence of an illegal drug on at least one occasion. He was also said to have given it to a woman identified only as Ms A as well as slapping and choking her in a hotel bedroom.

Daily Echo: Perbinderpal Grewal used to work as a vascular surgeon at University Hospital SouthamptonPerbinderpal Grewal used to work as a vascular surgeon at University Hospital Southampton (Image: Stephen Bath)

An MPTS report of the hearing said Ms A had raised concerns about his fitness to attend work on October 8 2019.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust carried out an investigation and referred the matter to the General Medical Council (GMC), the body that regulates doctors.

The redacted report does not identify the Class A drug, replacing the name with "XXX".

It said the allegation that Mr Grewal had assaulted Ms A and supplied her with the substance was found to have been proved. However, he was cleared of turning up for work whilst unfit for duty.

"The tribunal found there was no direct evidence that Mr Grewal's clinical abilities were directly impaired by taking XXX."

Daily Echo: The surgeon has been suspended over his behaviour during the time he worked at University Hospital SouthamptonThe surgeon has been suspended over his behaviour during the time he worked at University Hospital Southampton (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Grewal, who bought the drug on the dark web, said it was for weight loss rather than recreational use.

On one occasion, Ms A messaged the surgeon and told him: "How can you go to work after being on XXX all weekend? It's not safe for patients. Just go home please."

Later she added: "I have to tell you I have contacted the hospital and the GMC."

The tribunal found that Mr Grewal had failed to act within the law, thus risking public trust in the profession, by supplying Ms A with the drug and assaulting her.

But it rejected the GMC's submission that his drug-taking had put patients at risk.

"There was no evidence of unfitness for work. There were no questions about clinical performance. There was no evidence to suggest that Mr Grewal's actions had, at any time, impacted upon patient safety."

At the time, the doctor was under "immense" personal and professional pressure, which had affected his judgement.

A UHS spokesperson said: "As soon as the Trust was made aware of the allegations immediate action was taken. As of July 31, 2020, Mr Grewal was no longer employed by the Trust.”

Tribunal refuses to name drug

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has defended its decision not to name the illegal drug involved.

In a statement, it said: "It is routine for the MPTS to remove medications or substances from determinations when the doctor in question is being discussed.

"This is because it usually refers to a health issue, and the Medical Act 1983 sets out that we can remove 'information concerning the physical or mental health of a person which the General Council consider to be confidential'.

"In relation to Dr Grewal, the information which remains is that this was a Class A substance.

"The tribunal stated it was also agreed that the drug had 'an adverse impact on sleeping patterns'. This information was left because it was directly relevant to paragraph 1a of the allegation."

The MPTS said it had released enough information to enable the public the understand the severity of the allegation and the concerns raised by Ms A.

The University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has also refused to identify the drug.