A RESPECTED GP is on “long term leave” while the General Medical Council investigates his record keeping, the Echo can reveal.

Dr David Pelta, 63, is in charge of three Southend surgeries which treat more than 25,000 patients and had been placed on restricted duties by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

However, Dr Pelta, a senior partner at Queensway Surgery, is now on indefinite leave, while his wife Carole, 66, has also left her role as practice manager at Queensway.

The tribunal service had ordered Dr Pelta only work under the constant supervision of a named GP, his work had to be reviewed twice a week and he was banned from being a locum doctor.

In a statement, the surgery said: “We can confirm Dr Pelta has been on leave of absence.

Since this time, additional resources have been put in place to ensure there is sufficient medical cover tomeet the needs of patients.”

As well as the main surgery in Queensway, there were also clinics in Sutton Road, Southend, and in Sutherland Boulevard, Leigh.

Carole Pelta has been replaced by Valerie Beard.

It is understood one area of concern being looked at in relation to Dr Pelta was his record keeping at the surgery, as well as his note taking in connection with patients’ symptoms.

The tribunal service confirmed a private “interim orders” panel had met to look into allegations about Dr Pelta.

A spokesman said: “Interim orders panel hearings are held in private so there is no more information we can release at the moment.”

However, details of a number of interim sanctions that have been imposed on Dr Pelta have been added to his GMC record.

While he is investigated he can apply for other posts, but must confine anymedical work to GP duties and notify the GMC of any new position and allow it to provide information to the employer and contracting bodies.

The GMC must be informed of any further disciplinary action against him or if he applies to work overseas.

Dr Pelta was unavailable for comment. However, the surgery agreed to forward questions from the Echo to him, which remained unanswered as we went to press.