A FORMER Trafford General Hospital doctor who molested a student nurse can now return to practice unrestricted, a tribunal has ruled.

Dr Imran Qureshi was convicted of sexual assault in 2016, around a year after he touched and held a student nurse's breast at the hospital on Moorside Road.

Sentenced to a 12-month community order, Dr Qureshi, who was a locum doctor and not directly employed by the hospital, was also ordered onto the sex offenders register for five years.

The following year, a panel of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) opted to suspend him for 12 months.

In 2018, when the suspension came to an end, Dr Qureshi was allowed to return to practice, although with a number of conditions on his medical registration.

These were reviewed on several occasions over the years and relaxed as the panel became convinced there was a low risk of repetition of the offence.

But despite attempts on the behalf of Dr Qureshi to remove the conditions, these remained due to his persistent presence on the sex offenders register, as well as concern surrounding 'de-skilling' as he struggled to secure work.

At the latest review, on May 6, barrister Jade Bucklow suggested to the panel that although the former is no longer the case, the latter is still a concern.

But Dr Qureshi argued he had done a handful of shifts as a locum at hospitals in Bedfordshire and Staffordshire, and presented a number of positive references from the doctors who worked with him. One reference, from a doctor at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, said: "We found him to be reasonable given his experience in the NHS."

The panel then agreed to remove the conditions.

Chair Nathan Moxon said: "The evidence provided by Dr Qureshi was sufficient to show that he does not pose a danger to public safety due to de-skilling and that he had adequately maintained his clinical knowledge and skills.

He added: "The tribunal noted the current conditions on Dr Qureshi’s registration are due to expire in June 2022.

"Considering its findings on impairment, the tribunal sees no reason why such restrictions should continue.

"Therefore, the tribunal revokes the order of conditions with immediate effect."

Dr Qureshi is no longer connected with Trafford General Hospital and will not be returning to work there.