Reassurance has been offered by health bosses after a well known Chester GP was given a suspended jail sentence for downloading indecent images of children.
Dr Anthony Kenmore Bland, who worked at Fountains Medical Practice, pleaded guilty to seven charges at Chester Crown Court last Friday (March 2); including five relating to possession of indecent images and one to possessing extreme pornography.
The 62-year-old, of Ormonde Road, also admitted one count of attempting to incite a female child under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
He was sentenced to a total of 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years and was made subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.
Bland must also attend a sexual offenders programme and pay prosecution costs of £800.
However, today (Tuesday) a joint statement issued by NHS England and NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) sought to reassure patients who knew Bland that the charges did not have anything to do with his work as a GP.
"We want to reassure patients seen and treated by Dr. Bland that the police have confirmed that none of the charges brought against him relate to his patients or any of his roles as a doctor," the statement said.
"Upon his arrest in January 2017, we took immediate action to suspend Dr. Bland and he has not had any contact with patients since then. He has been removed from the list of GP Performers and can no longer work as a GP.
"We understand that these charges may be upsetting for local people. If you would like to speak to someone, please get in touch with the NHS England Contact Centre on 0300 311 2233."