A SENIOR Hampshire paramedic claims he remained focused on his work despite regular steamy chats with his control room lover, a hearing was told.

Simon Surplice said his saucy conversations with the emergency control centre manager during work time were “intimate banter” and if he’d known they would be brought up some 18 months later he would not have had them.

The 46-year-old spoke as he was cross-examined at the Health Professionals Council hearing in London yesterday, where he faces a raft of charges that include allegedly making bogus call-outs to the Eastleigh ambulance control room to help his lover improve her response targets.

The hearing was told how Mr Surplice made numerous calls to the woman, who is only being named as Miss X, while they were on duty.

Transcripts produced at the hearing revealed they included suggestions that they meet to have sex.

Referring to one explicit phone call, Mr Surplice said: “We were flirting with each other and it’s intimate banter.

“Had I known that was going to be brought back 18 months after the event, I would not have done it. I deeply regret it.”

Mr Surplice is alleged to have altered statistics and made false claims by reporting fake category A incidents when he was a senior ambulance officer employed by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust between October 2008 and May 2009.

He is also accused of disabling a tracking system on his emergency vehicle while he allegedly visited Miss X at her home, so he could cover his tracks.

He denies the allegations but admits making inappropriate phone calls while on duty.

Mr Surplice yesterday faced cross-examination from HPC lawyer Sarah Harris, who suggested the volume of calls he made, listed on his phone bill, must have distracted him while on duty. In one of them he asked Miss X “fancy spending an afternoon in bed?”.

Mr Surplice said: “It didn’t have any bearing in my work.

The time I spent on the phone hasn’t actually distracted me from work I was supposed to be doing.”

He said coy calls about romps with Miss X were only a “fun suggestion”, and that it would have been “highly inappropriate”

if true.

Mr Surplice, who was demoted to paramedic after an internal disciplinary hearing, is also accused of making up an emergency call to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance so it conducted a flypast at the funeral of a former colleague in Bishop’s Waltham.

However, Mr Surplice said he did not think he was doing anything wrong when he called the control room to dispatch a helicopter over St Peter’s Church.

Miss Harris quoted a transcript of Surplice saying to a colleague: “I'm sure there will be an accident somewhere nearby if I wanted.”

• The hearing was adjourned until May 11.