10 Dec 2014

Osteopath left patients to get coffee

7:58 pm on 10 December 2014

A former Dunedin osteopath who left acupuncture needles in patients while he went to a cafe has been disciplined and fined.

The case is detailed in findings today from the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

The tribunal says there were complaints about Paul Edward Bolton soon after he started work at the Consultancy House Clinic three years ago.

One patient said she was horrified when he jammed needles into her back and hooked her up to an electro-acupuncture, or TENS, machine.

A colleague said patients were often left with needles inserted while Mr Bolton went to get coffee from a nearby cafe.

The tribunal says no one suffered injury, but it was risky and electro-acupuncture was outside his scope of practice.

It also upheld complaints about swearing and intimidating language.

Mr Bolton has left New Zealand. He was suspended and must pay $45,714 in fines and costs.

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