A GP accused of misconduct over the running of a private nursing home said yesterday that he borrowed "a lot of money" on credit cards to keep the business going.
Dr Jamalapuram Hari Gopal told the General Medical Council that the Maypole Nursing Home in Birmingham had run into financial problems after the number of residents fell.
But he insisted that standards were maintained at the home despite the lack of money and staff shortages.
Dr Gopal and his wife, Dr Pratury Samrajya Lakshmi, are accused of serious professional misconduct over their management of the former home for elderly, mentally infirm patients in Alcester Road South.
It was closed in March 2003 after an unannounced inspection, which prompted the then National Care Standards Commission to raise "serious concerns" about the care offered, the GMC has heard.
The doctors, who worked as GPs at the nearby Philip Clarke Medical Centre, deny serious professional miscon-duct and accusations of "inappropriate, irresponsible and inadequate" behaviour which was not in the best interests of patients and residents at the home.
Dr Gopal told the GMC's Fitness to Practise Panel in London that the home had experienced "a few problems" but had otherwise received positive feedback from the relatives of residents.
He told the hearing: "It is extremely demanding work and sometimes we had shortages and we had a few problems but we were trying to overcome so many things."
He conceded that staffing levels were sometimes an issue; workers sometimes only gave a few hours' notice of being unable to come in.
Last week Birmingham Coroner Aidan Cotter, who investigated 13 deaths at the home during 2002, said he would not hold inquests.
Mr Cotter had found no evidence which would justify inquests, but added that the home was not run as well as it could have been.
West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have also both said there was no evidence of crimes committed at the home.
Among a string of allegations, the doctors are accused of failing to ensure the privacy and dignity of residents, to make arrangements to prevent them from being harmed or suffering abuse and ensuring they were not subjected to physical restraint other than that necessary to secure their or other residents' welfare.
Dr Gopal denied the charges put to him by defending counsel Philip Gaisford.
The hearing continues.