Agree to go for a meal as he's no longer her doctor and their one-off consultation was four months ago?
Marlena has just had her final session with the psychiatrist when she bumps into Dr Gallagher in the hospital corridor.
Several months ago, Dr Gallagher saw Marlena Cieslak at A&E. She had been the victim of domestic violence and was suffering from depression. Marlena's GP referred her to a psychiatrist who suggested a short course of counselling. Marlena has just had her final session with the psychiatrist when she bumps into Dr Gallagher in the hospital corridor.
Dr Gallagher - hello! It's me, Marlena Cieslak. You fixed my arm in February - do you remember?
Miss Cieslak yes of course! How are you?
Marlena, please. I'm very well thank you - wonderful in fact! I've really turned my life around. I left my boyfriend, moved out, I've even found a job - I'm working for this great Spanish restaurant chain, really fantastic food. I swear that night in A&E was the turning point - I really can't thank you enough for helping me.
Oh not at all, Miss Cieslak. I was only doing my job...
Oh no wait, I'll give you my card- you could come to one of the restaurants for a meal some time, on the house. In fact if you can go on a Tuesday I could join you - that's my night off. It's the very least I could do after all you've done for me. Please say you will?
Dr Gallagher thanked Marlena for her offer but, feeling it would be inappropriate under the circumstances (she had only just finished counselling and was still likely to be vulnerable) he declined, saying that he was unable to accept gifts even from former patients. He told her how glad he was that she was doing so well, and went back to work, wishing her all the best for the future.
You must make sure that your conduct justifies your patients' trust in you and the public's trust in the profession.
(Good Medical Practice, paragraph 65)
You must not ask for or accept - from patients, colleagues or others - any inducement, gift or hospitality that may affect or be seen to affect the way you prescribe for, treat or refer patients or commission services for patients.
(Good Medical Practice, paragraph 80)