A DOCTOR from East Lancashire - once convicted of fiddling patient records to secure an extra £62,000 from the NHS - is making a bid to return to the profession.

Dr Thirumurgan Sundarean, then of Park Road, Helmshore, was given an 18-month suspended jail term in 2014 after he confessed to falsifying the records of 1,703 patients to hit targets.

Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester was told at the time this would have also increased payments to the GP practice where he worked in Rochdale.

His name was erased from the medical register in December 2014 by reason of the court proceedings and conviction.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has now confirmed Dr Sundaresan has made an application to be restored to the register, with a hearing, scheduled for three days, due to start in Manchester tomorrow.

Dr Sundaresan was a partner at the East Street Surgery, in Rochdale, when he defrauded the money from the former Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale Primary Care Trust (PCT).

An investigation found that in just three days in March 2008, he had manipulated the practice’s patient records system more than 7,000 times in order to hit PCT financial targets under the Quality and Outcomes Framework.

He falsely claimed for patient checks which he had not carried out, including digital retinopathy checks, which can save diabetic patients from going blind, the court heard.

Prosecutors said the unusual pattern of the practice’s output raised suspicions and led to a fraud investigation supported by the internal agency, NHS Protect.

Dr Sundaresan, who pleaded guilty to two offences under the Fraud Act, was also ordered to pay £50,000 in costs.

An MPTS spokesman said: "The tribunal will consider Dr Sundaresan’s application for restoration to the medical register.

"Dr Sundaresan was erased from the medical register in December 2014 by reason of a conviction."