Belfast Telegraph

Iris Robinson 'gay cure' psychiatrist cleared over claims of malpractice with a patient

By Amanda Ferguson

A former adviser to Iris Robinson who claimed he could turn gay people heterosexual has been cleared of all allegations of impropriety, including trying to take financial advantage of a patient.

Psychiatrist Dr Paul Miller worked for the First Minister's wife when she was chair of Stormont's health committee.

The Queen's University graduate found himself at the centre of a media storm in 2008 when Mrs Robinson, then a DUP councillor, MLA and MP, made controversial claims about his work on a Radio Ulster programme.

"I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in," she said at the time, referring to Dr Miller.

Later, a number of allegations were made against Dr Miller:

* That between 2004 and 2010, he had improper financial dealings with a patient, in that he took, or attempted to take, financial advantage of the patient on a number of occasions.

* It was alleged that on a number of occasions Dr Miller failed to maintain professional boundaries with the patient whilst practising in Belfast.

* It was alleged that on a number of occasions he provided sub-standard care to the patient.

But a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) fitness-to-practise hearing found that none of the allegations had been proved.

The MPTS panel was told the General Medical Council (GMC) was unable to present any evidence to back up the allegations.

Panel chair Dr Neil Sykes said: "In the absence of any evidence being adduced to support the allegation, the panel has announced that all of the facts are found not proved.

"Given the panel's finding that none of the facts alleged have been found proved, it follows necessarily that the panel considers there is no evidence to support a finding of impairment of your fitness to practise.

"The interim order of conditions currently imposed on your registration is hereby revoked.

"This case is concluded."

Conditions that been imposed on Dr Miller – such as notifying the GMC about any post he accepts and his day-to-day work being supervised – have now been lifted.

In 2008 Mrs Robinson said she believed homosexuality was "an abomination", but Dr Miller had been able to steer gay people to heterosexuality.

"I'm happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman and I have met people who have turned around and become heterosexuals," she said.

"They are married and are having families. It does work."

However, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy opposes such treatment.

"Unfortunately, therapists who behave in this way cause considerable distress," a statement on its website states.

"A small minority of therapists will even go so far as to attempt to change their client's sexual orientation. This can be deeply damaging.

"Although there is now a number of therapists and organisation in the USA and in the UK that claim that therapy can help homosexuals to become heterosexual, there is no evidence that such change is possible."

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