A senior NHS doctor who worked at a hospital in Ipswich has been suspended for six months after groping a woman while carrying out medical procedures.

Consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist Dr Narendra Kochar, 54, told the woman while carrying out a colonoscopy in July 2021: “You are so beautiful, very very beautiful. Oh I like you” before repeatedly touching her breast as she helped him treat a patient.

The woman, who is referred to in documents from the Medical Practitioner's Tribunal Service as Ms A, was helping Dr Kochar when he whispered in her ear and manoeuvred his left hand under her right elbow touching her right breast. 

Dr Kochar then touched Ms A's right breast again after removing his hand from a patient's abdomen before repeating the movement.

In a statement the woman said: “At first I thought he was talking about the patient's bowel as he was performing the procedure but as he said the comments a couple of more times during the day I knew he was talking to me.

“With his left hand he came under my right elbow touching my right breast and then moved his hand down to the patient's abdomen. 

“When he removed his hand he again grazed my right breast as he pulled away. Again I thought maybe it was a mistake and it could have happened by accident.

“I positioned myself on an angle so that he could avoid my breast, but he used his left hand to go under my right elbow and touched my right breast as he moved down my arm to the patient's abdomen. 

“He also touched my right breast when he moved his hand back to carry on the colonoscopy. I knew that touching on my breast for a second time was not an accident and both times had been on purpose.”

She initially informed a consultant surgeon, referred to as Dr D who works at East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, that she would never work with Dr Kochar again - but she made a formal complaint in October 2021 when she saw a new rota had paired them up.

Ipswich Star: East Suffolk and North Essex Ipswich Hospital East Suffolk and North Essex Ipswich Hospital (Image: Newsquest)

Dr Kochar denied wrongdoing and said in a statement he had attended a 'Maintaining Professionalism' course. He told the hearing he may have been talking to himself, or commenting on the equipment he was using and that any touching was accidental.

Dr Kochar was suspended for six months, with chair of the tribunal Angela Georgiou saying: “The tribunal acknowledged Dr Kochar is a highly valued member of his team and his patients benefit from his skills.

“Erasing Dr Kochar from the register would deprive the public of an otherwise excellent doctor."