An acting chief executive accused of breaching patient confidentiality has been cleared of allegations of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council.

Dr Keith Prowse was acting chief executive of North Staffordshire Hospital trust when doctors in the trust's paediatrics department were accused of forging consent forms from parents before including their children in research.

Details of the allegations were due to be broadcast on television when Dr Prowse intervened and released medical records disproving the claims. But one of the families involved in the case took the case to the GMC, alleging that the medical records were made available to the media without proper consent.

Last week the GMC ruled that the disclosure of the documents was not prohibited by the professional rules governing confidentiality, as they were due to 'truly exceptional' circumstances.