A FORMER Holme House prison GP has been struck off the medical register after admitting prescribing opiate medication while he was banned from doing so.

The allegations of irregular prescribing practices were made while Dr Steven Harry Andelic was working as a GP at the Bishop Auckland Urgent Care Centre and involved issuing prescriptions for patients in 'an irregular manner'.

The Medical Practitioners' Tribunal Service found there had been evidence of '33 separate instances of dishonesty occurring on the part of Dr Andelic over the course of a two-year period', in 'multiple clinical settings' including both NHS and private practice.

They included impersonating a vulnerable patient in the course of collecting a prescription, deleting entries from medical records, and prescribing medication that the patient had no immediate need for.

He had also breached an order of suspension 'on multiple occasions'.

His work history included being a forensic medical examiner for Cleveland Police and a prison medical officer at Holme House, although there was no evidence put forward of impropriety at either place.

The tribunal heard of a 'highly chaotic method of prescribing and record-keeping' by Dr Andelic.

It ruled he had still not provided a 'sufficient explanation' for some of the dishonest conduct.

The former Hartlepool GP admitted a total of almost 50 allegations including prescribing medication without consultation with patients and doctoring medical records at a hearing last year.

He also deleted medication that had been prescribed from patients' records/

The allegations were said to have been carried out between 2013 and 2015.

In 2014 he failed to notify Bishop Auckland Care Centre that he was not allowed to prescribe opiates and continued to prescribe them.

He also worked as a medical practitioner at Wetherby Racecourse while suspended from the medical register.

He also prescribed medication on a pad while working at The Hart Medical Practice in Hartlepool but did not enter into the patient's records that it had been issued.

However his actions were described as 'naive and foolish' rather than dishonest, although his dishonesty had been 'persistent, serious and escalating'.

His representatives argued that he should only be suspended for 12 months as his motivation had been only to help others.

The MPTS said they found his conduct was 'fundamentally incompatible with continued registration' and ruled to erase him from the General Medical Council's register.