A consultant at Chorley Hospital has been cleared of professional misconduct after wrongly prescribing sleeping tablets to a family member.

Dr Soe Than Myint, an anaethetist, wrote at least 12 prescriptions for the relative over a three-year period from 2007, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) heard.

Only when concerns were raised by a pharmacist at Chorley Tesco’s in-store dispensary did the prescriptions come to light.

The patient’s GP had been unaware of the medication , the insomnia treatment zopiclone, being issued, the fitness to practice hearing was told.

In evidence to the tribunal, the family member, only referred to as Patient A, said she had asked Dr Myint for the prescription after experiencing family problems.

The tribunal was told that, as Burmese nationals, it was not uncommon for doctors to treat family members.

But Dr Myint accepted that this actions did not equate to good clinical care, said his counsel John Colin. His lawyer said there was no evidence that the doctor had sought to deceive the authorities or abuse his position of trust. Mr Colin said Dr Myint, who had an otherwise blameless record, had not issued a private prescription since June 2010.

The hearing was told that Patient A had been prescribed zopiclone on at least one occasion by her former GP, who was now deceased.

Dr Myint admitted charges of issued prescriptions to Patient A and failing to make an adequate record of the medications.

However the MPTS panel cleared him of issuing the prescriptions without a GP’s knowledge, or taking steps to inform the GP, and further sending a letter in July 2011 claiming Patient A had been prescribed the drug by her GP and he was ‘merely repeating her repeat medications’.

Panel chair Douglas Gentleman said his actions did not amount to professional misconduct after a five-day hearing in Manchester. He added: “The panel is in no doubt that you have acquired good insight and that you appreciate what you did was not appropriate.” He also said a warning would not be appropriate.