Meeting with Jackie Smith Head of GMC Investigations
30th August 2009
Jackie Smith Head of Investigations General Medical Council Euston Road NW1 3JN
Dear Ms Smith,
Record of our meeting on August 12th 2008
Further to the above meeting I attach a précis of the discussions, which took place along with your responses to my concerns. Please could you initial each paragraph below to indicate your agreement that a true and fair reflection of our meeting has been Minuted in this way and then return the original to me. With regard to point 9 below and the final paragraph of point 8, I should like your opinion on the point raised.
Prior to the meeting
You refused to allow John McDonald QC, on whose Opinion the meeting was based, to attend this meeting with me.
I requested that the Case Officer who handled allegations against me, namely Patricia Collins, be present at the meeting. This did not happen. This meant that you were unable to respond to many of my concerns. Those concerns which you were able to pass comment on are listed below:
Details of the meeting
Subjects to be discussed revolved around Mr John McDonald QC’s Opinion, which I supplied to you prior to the meeting. You did not have a copy of this Opinion when we met.
When I asked you if that Opinion had given you any cause for concern, or reason to take further action, you stated that it had not.
1. It remains a mystery as to where the Ritalin complaint came from. I can only conclude that this allegation was fabricated by the GMC and continued to be upheld despite me pointing out that it was simply not true. This did not concern you and you have no plans to investigate this further, or indeed find out who was responsible for generating this complaint.
2. As a result of GMC actions, I have been unable to obtain full medical insurance since 2004. This is of no concern to the GMC and furthermore, when I asked you whether a suitable letter could be prepared by the GMC that I could show to the Defence Unions to persuade them of my innocence, this was refused.
3. I have suffered unremitting stress as a result of unfounded allegations against me, all of which were dropped. This has cost me a great deal of time and money, but the GMC have no concerns about this. Furthermore, they have no plans for any sort of compensation.
4. I have suffered substantial losses as a result of unfounded and unproven allegations made by the GMC. In particular, these allegations have caused both a serious erosion of my professional reputation and also considerable damage to my practice and my relationship with patients. The GMC has no concerns with respect to this and has not helped to contain or reduce these losses. Further, the GMC has no plans to help restore my professional reputation.
5. The GMC obtained patients’ notes without patient knowledge, without patient consent, without informing patients that their notes had been taken, without anonymising their notes and without offering them the opportunity to appeal against GMC actions. You tell me that the GMC are empowered to do this as part of the business of investigating complaints and that you have no plans to change this practice.
6. The GMC are not responsible for checking the veracity of allegations from doctors and they have no mechanism for identifying vexatious complaints. One GP appeared deliberately to withhold a test result essential for my defence. It was only when I inadvertently discovered the existence of this test and after having prompted the GMC, who through their agent Field, Fisher Waterhouse made further enquiries, that this test result was made available to me.
Again these issues do not concern the GMC and you have no plans to investigate this further with a view to changing GMC procedures.
7. During the five years that I have been subject to these allegations, the GMC has spent £136,692.12 on external solicitors, in addition to their own internal costs. I suggested to you that the total cost to the GMC would be in the order of £500,000 which you agreed was likely. However, this did not cause you any concern and your view was that this was a responsible way to spend GMC resources and that no further action was required to look into this.
8. In response to each GMC allegation which I faced, I sent detailed and referenced responses. All of these responses were missing from the GMC files. They did not appear in Freedom of Information searches, neither did they appear in the final file of documents which exonerated me. Also missing were many additional letters of concern which I sent to the GMC. The only letter from me which I found was my letter to Sir Graham Catto, President of the GMC – this letter was unacknowledged and not replied to.
In particular the following letters to the GMC are all missing from my file:
To Rachel Syed February 24th 2006 – response to NHS L allegations September 5th 2006 – state of play regarding NHS L complaint
To Nicola Forshaw May 27th 2006 – concerns over allegations from Drs F and C about prescribing thyroid hormones
To Katheryn Tindle September 6th 2006 – arrangements for conference call
To Mark Elliot December 3rd 2005 – concerns over false allegations from T and W
To Neil Jinks August 15th 2006 – response to allegations from Drs F and C
To Barry Baines 22nd November 2006 – responding to website allegations from NHS L
To Patricia Collins Feb 23rd 2007 – request for information April 15th - please reply to my questions May 13th 2007 - request for further information June 20th 2007 – request for information Aug 4th 2007 – concerns over complaints from Dr N, patient notes taken without consent. Aug 12th 2007 – concerns about patients’ notes being taken without permission Aug 12th 2007 – request for further information August 12th 2007 – concerns about my medical indemnity cover Your ref: 2005/2757 – Sept 12th 2007 – my letter to Patricia Collins – did FFW or GMC prune notes? Sept 12th 2007 – concerns over allegations from Dr N Sept 12th 2007 – concerns about L report Sept 14th 2007 - concerns that I was not being judged by my peers Sept 27th 2007 – my letter to PC raising concerns over FFW handling of my case. Oct 2nd 2007 – my letter to PC – concerns that information was being withheld from me. Oct 7th 2007 your ref: PC/2005/2755/01 – questions to complainant
To Andrew Wood June 9th 2007 – concerns over patients’ notes taken without permission June 12th 2007 – responding to allegations Drs M and B July 1st 2007 – responding to allegations July 9th 2007 – request to postpone Sept hearing July 15th 2007 – request for information August 6th 2007 – concerns over unfounded allegations from Dr F
To Rebecca Faulkner June 11th 2007 – concerns over postponement of Hearing
To Rosemarie Paul FFW Sept 5th 2006 – concerns over GMC allegations October 7th 2006 – concerns over medical indemnity cover Feb 23rd 2007 – concerns over allegations which are incorrect Feb 4th 2007 – concerns over evidence against me Feb 18th 2007 – request for information March 2nd 2007 – information supplied re ET case March 19th 2007 – why have allegations changed with no new evidence? March 23rd 2007 – new evidence June 1st 2007 – new evidence given June 2nd 2007 – concerns over expert witness reports June 5th 2007 – requesting postponement of Hearing June 26th 2007 – concerns over GMC procedures July 1st 2007 – requesting reasons why allegations were dropped
To Professor L, which he then passed on to the GMC April 22nd 2007 – concerns over factual inaccuracies May 6th 2007 - ditto November 23rd 2007 – ditto – inaccuracies not corrected
You expressed surprise and disbelief that these letters were missing from my file. What actions do you propose to assure me that these letters were not filleted from the official record?
9. Tom Kark QC, who advised the GMC on 04.10.07 as follows:
“Dr Myhill’s good intentions are not seriously in doubt and it is known that she has very substantial patient support. Anyone who has had any dealings with Dr Myhill is not likely to doubt her good intentions. I find it very surprising that these four charges were persisted with for so long. If Dr Myhill had been interviewed at an early stage by a senior member of the GMC’s investigating team and proper records had been kept, the overwhelming probability is that all four of these complaints would have been dismissed in short order. This, in my opinion, is what should have happened”.
Do you agree with this opinion?
I look forward to receiving your responses to the above points in order that I can go ahead with other enquiries.
If you find yourself unable to initial your agreement to any of the above points, I would appreciate your comments as to why that is the case and also details of actions which the GMC proposes to take in relation to these points.
Dr Sarah Myhill