Clayhall doctor struck off after pretending he was deaf can now return to work

A doctor who pretended he was deaf to pocket a fortune from private patients while on NHS sick leave can return to work eight years after he was struck off.

Dr Michael Hodges, 56, funded a life of luxury from the fraud with a convertible Jaguar and an Audi TT parked on the drive of his £1.5million home.

Dr Hodges, who was earning £250,000 a year, worked at Clayhall Clinic, Clayhall Avenue, Clayhall, but had claimed mild deafness and tinnitus made him unfit to work.

The surgery was left in the hands of locums who were paid £17,000 by the NHS to cover him and keep the 5,000-patient practice afloat.

But he was carrying out up to 16 lucrative medical examinations a day and made more than £100,000 – despite his claim he could barely communicate with patients.

The fraud was uncovered when an NHS colleague spotted his name on the door at the then-named BUPA Roding Hospital, Roding Lane North, Clayhall, when he was signed off sick.

Dr Hodges was jailed for 12 months at Southwark Crown Court in July 2004 after being convicted of 12 counts of false accounting.

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He served just three months before he was granted early release.

Hodges was struck off in 2005 after a General Medical Council (GMC) panel ruled it was in the public interest to erase his name from the register for the “serious abuse” of his position of trust.

But he can now return to work after a tribunal granted his application to be restored to the medical register.

The panel at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester decided his fitness to practise is no longer impaired by reason of his conviction.

“I feel I have proven my competence in a thorough professional assessment recommended by the GMC,” said Dr Hodges.