A PSYCHOLOGIST accused of having a sexual relationship with a client will have his misconduct hearing held in secret – to spare the embarrassment of the complainant.
Dr John McCarron is said to have had sex with a woman, known only as 'Client A', on two occasions in March last year.
McCarron, employed by Lancashire Care NHS Trust, had treated her at his private practice for several months before the alleged misconduct.
McCarron is said to have set the married woman 'homework' in relation to her sexual interests as part of her treatment.
He allegedly sent a string of sexually explicit emails and texts between March and April last year and had sex with her twice.
McCarron is not attending, but is represented at a four-day Health Care Professionals Council hearing in Manchester, where he could face being struck off if he is found guilty of misconduct.
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But a HCPC panel ruled that the entire hearing should be held in private to protect the identity of the main witness in the case.
HCPC solicitor Julie Norris noted the 'legitimate public interest in knowing what is happening' because of the 'serious allegations', but applied for the witness' evidence to be private because she is 'traumatised and embarrassed' and does not wish the events to 'be laid open in public'.
McCarron is employed by the NHS in adult occupational therapist, but has been in private practice since 1997.
While a consultant psychologist for the former Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Community Mental Health Team, he was rebuked by his ruling body in 2007 after telling a patient to 'pull yourself together' and branding another a 'waste of space'.
Finding that Dr McCarron had not intended to insult clients but that the effect of his approach had been insulting, the 2007 committee reprimanded him and ruled he had breached its code of conduct. The hearing continues.