A PLASTIC surgeon who told a colleague to hold a patient's breast and said "I bet you like doing that" was making a "clumsy attempt at a compliment", a hearing has been told. 

Dr Adam Sawyer was accused of being ‘inappropriate’ while performing cosmetic breast surgery on a patient at the Harbour Hospital in Poole.

He asked a hospital worker to assist with holding the patient’s breast during the procedure, before reportedly telling her “I bet you like doing that” and “you’re doing a great job, it’s like you’re doing this all the time”.

Dr Sawyer, who works both within the NHS and privately, has been doing surgeries at the Harbour Hospital since 2018.

He was reported to the General Medical Council (GMC) in December 2021, with concerns raised relating to his behaviour during the procedure in April 2021.

The plastic surgeon admitted to saying “you’re doing a great job, it’s like you’re doing this all the time” but on the basis that the words were used in an “appropriate clinical context”.

Last month, The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) held a hearing surrounding the allegations.

A tribunal heard from witnesses, an account from Dr Sawyer, and testimonials from colleagues.

While it was determined and found proven that Dr Sawyer also said, “I bet you like doing that”, the tribunal concluded the surgeon’s behaviour was not sexually motivated.

Mrs Claire Lindley, chair of the tribunal, said: “The tribunal considered that the likely explanation for the comments was that they were a joke, and a clumsy attempt at a compliment said in a joking manner.”

The hearing also considered an allegation that during the procedure, Dr Sawyer placed his hands on the patient’s breasts and with his head positioned “close between” the breasts, turned his head “vigorously from side to side”.

It was also alleged that the surgeon described the patient as ‘pretty’ or words to that effect and suggested that another staff member visit the patient in their room after the procedure.

However, the tribunal found these allegations to be not proven.

It followed concerns raised over the witnesses’ credibility and reliability, with the witness themselves accepting they had a “reputation for dishonesty”.

The Tribunal determined that Dr Sawyer’s actions did not amount to misconduct therefore it did not need to consider the question of impairment.

Dr Sawyer did not respond to repeated requests for a comment.