Category:My GMC Hearing
- 1 In the running of my IOP Hearing the GMC do not observe their own procedures
- 2 The GMC have been removing my letters from the official record
- 3 My IOP Hearing April 29th 2010
- 3.1 The Hearing Proceeds
- 3.2 My statement to the GMC can be seen here.
- 3.3 The Demo
- 3.4 The GMC says Dr Myhill is “Guilty” on the basis of no charges, no case and no evidence.
- 3.5 The Punishment
- 3.6 The Consequences
- 3.7 Why have the GMC taken such fierce and inappropriate sanctions?
- 3.8 What does this mean for my patients?
- 3.9 What can you do to help
- 3.10 What I shall be doing
- 3.11 Dr Myhill's presentation to the GMC will be available on line at 9.30am Thursday April 29th
- 3.12 Vital Statistics on Monday 26 April
- 3.13 GMC Case Office Paul Bridge tells Dr Myhill “Have a nice weekend”
- 3.14 Our Anonymous Complainant has announced himself on the Internet
- 4 The Silent Army and the Noisy Army will demonstrate outside GMC Offices London at 1.30pm on Thursday April 29th
- 5 GMC refuse any recording of this public hearing other than their own written account
- 6 The GMC are taking patients' notes without their knowledge or consent
- 7 What you can do to help
- 8 Is this British Justice?
- 9 The GMC do not care who is complaining
- 10 April 12th Monday
- 11 Update Sunday April 11th
- 12 I face an Interim Order Panel at which I could be suspended from the medical register on April 29th 2010
- 13 The GMC and me - since 2001
- 14 My Meeting with Jackie Smith Head of GMC Investigations August 12th 2009
- 15 My Complaint to the Solicitors' Regulation Authority
- 16 Details of the charges I face
In the running of my IOP Hearing the GMC do not observe their own procedures
I have written to GMC President Peter Rubin pointing out how
- The GMC do not bother to check the veracity of complaints
- The GMC do not observe their own procedures with respect to vexatious complaints
- The GMC have been filleting my letters out of the official record
- The GMC prosecutor Mr Summers has potentially abused the patient's right to anonymity and confidentialtiy by releaing highly sensitive information to the public.
- GMC actions are irrational, illogical and inconsistent
- The GMC discounted the supporting evidence of over 800 letters from my patients and other doctors together with 3,166 signatures on the petition as launched by a patient support group as "witch hunt" material.
The GMC have been removing my letters from the official record
After the 6th GMC Hearing that I faced, which was cancelled, I was sent a copy of the full GMC case file concerning me. I realised that many of the letters I had written to the GMC were missing from that file. They were also missing from a Data Protection Act search of GMC files. At my meeting with Jackie Smith on August 12th 2009 I complained about this - her face fell and I realised the GMC were vulnerable. See Meeting with Jackie Smith Head of GMC Investigations.
In my minutes of that meeting I listed all those 47 letters that were missing from the official record. Since that meeting Jackie Smith has refused all further contact with me. So I wrote again to Julian Graves, Information Access Officer on 24 February 2010 for a further DPA search specifically listing all the letters missing from the official record. DPA searches should be responded to within 21 days.
On 29 April (64 days later) the date of my IOP Hearing, all the missing letters turned up at my office with a covering letter from Julian Graves "I am sorry that some of these letters were not disclosed to you as a result of your previous subject access requests".
I have complainted to the GMC about this and my letter to Julian Graves, Information Access Officer can be seen at The GMC breach the Data Protection Act in filleting my letters from the official file
As a result of GMC investigations against me I have been unable to get any medical indemnity for GMC hearings. This means I have done it all myself with no legal help (until this IOP when I employed Mr Macdonald for the day), but of course fantastic help from my patients and friends. Perhaps the GMC thought I was a soft option and they could get away with filleting the official record!
My IOP Hearing April 29th 2010
The Panel was made up of two lay and one medical member namely Angela Macpherson (chair), Mr Amu K Devani and Dr Lewis Gordon Morrison.
The Hearing Proceeds
A GMC version of the transcript of the hearing is now available.
Before the hearing opened I had asked the Panel to consider the evidence of over 800 letters from patients, the on-line petition (3615 signatures today April 30th) and face book (1,891 comments today) . It was clear from the unruffled pile of paperwork on their desks that none had been read by the Panel. Instead that evidence was dismissed by GMC prosecuting officer Mr Summers as “Witch hunt material”. It was a disgraceful start to the Hearing. I did not think thngs could get worse - but read on.........
My statement to the GMC can be seen here.
GMC's full verdict is now available.
The GMC Verdict was initially promised for 1.15pm. There were 4 postponements and eventually the verdict was given to a packed hearing room at 4pm.
One immediate fallout from the GMC's decision was that from about 4:30 pm on Thursday, 29th April my website began to experience the levels of "traffic" that made the new powerful server groan. Just about every search engine was there last night as well as "real people"; the server hit full load several times but valiantly carried on, thus giving the current website a kind of verbal immortality....in the last 5 days this page has been accessed 14,377 times!
The GMC did not permit the Demo to take place on the pavement outside GMC Offices. Four security officers were posted on the door and people pushed away. Video footage now available on You Tube - Dr Sarah Myhill at Demo.
This is an account by a patient who has been greatly helped by nutritional medicine as practised by myself.
The GMC says Dr Myhill is “Guilty” on the basis of no charges, no case and no evidence.
The GMC's full Verdict will be put up here Friday April 30th. Read it. It is a masterpiece of obfuscation and spin. The GMC made no charges, presented no case and ignored findings of fact.
Briefly the verdict says of me:
“The circumstances surrounding this case relate to concerns regarding your clinical and professional practice, and concerns regarding your website, your promotion of treatments and consequently your potential failure to recognise and work within the limits of your competence”.
My comment: No facts. No concerns. No failures. No patient put at risk. No patient harmed.
On the basis of one recommendation for B12 injection PLUS an opinion that differs from NICE guidelines, two lay members of the panel and one doctor have come to the following verdict:
- You must not prescribe any prescription only medication, as detailed in the British National Formulary.
- Within 14 days of today’s hearing you must ensure that in relation to your website…...the following subjects must be removed
.....cardiology, chest pain due to ischaemic heart disease, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure or pulmonary embolus, asthma, breast cancer, hormonal contraceptive medication, vascular disease, immunisation or vaccination.
By contrast Dr Jane Barton was investigated by police over 12 years. They examined 92 deaths, although no criminal charges were brought, and an inquest last year into ten of the 12 deaths concluded that five pensioners died after being given excessive doses of morphine. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247000/Dr-Jane-Barton-escapes-struck-prescribing-potentially-hazardous-levels-drugs.html#ixzz0mkkazWwi Dr Barton simply had restrictions to prescribe certain drugs imposed on her! See []. This GMC decision came on January 29th - exactly three months ago. Where, I ask, is the consistency?
I no longer have the right to freedom of clinical opinion. I must remove all reference to the “pharmacological management” of the above diseases, vaccination or immunisation, hormonal contraception, i.e. the Pill. This must be done within 14 davs. I cannot manage and advise my patients effectively without freedom of opinion. Indeed, this is partly why I left the NHS!
I no longer have the right to prescribe prescription only medication, as detailed in BNF.
Why have the GMC taken such fierce and inappropriate sanctions?
I understand now why the GMC refused live video recording. This would have revealed the three jaw dropping moments on the Chairman’s face.
- As I read out the posting on the Bad Science website where the anonymous complainant declared himself.
- At the end when the verdict was announced and the public cry of “Shame on you” went up.
- As I stated how the GMC had been taking patient notes without knowledge or permission and that no government bodies that I complained to were prepared to investigate.
I believe this is the big issue away from which the GMC are trying to divert attention. This political dimension makes sense as the Hearing was staged just pre-election when all reporters would be away chasing politics. We need to keep this issue alive until the political aspect can be tackled.
I can only think that the sanctions on my freedom of clinical opinion have been forced by political pressure in a "cleaning up job" just before election time.
What does this mean for my patients?
I no longer have the freedom of opinion nor the right to prescribe medication which I need to practise good and effective medicine.
I cannot prescribe any medication listed in BNF. Presumably I can prescribe medication not listed in BNF. I shall be writing to the GMC for clarification.
I cannot apply for any medical employment with UK without informing the GMC. Effectively this means I am banned from medical employment other than self employment.
What can you do to help
I believe the big issue is about the GMC taking patient notes without knowledge or permission. This is an illegal act. Continue to send DPA letters. Copy in your MP on correspondence and ask your MP to raise this issue in parliament. I suspect the GMC ran my hearing before the election deliberately when journalists' eyes would be elsewhere so we need to keep this issue on the boil for the time being.
Send a DPA letter to the GMC asking for a DPA search for you medical records. See DPA letter. Copy in your MP. Get angry. Even if you are not a patient, you will no longer be able to hear my opinion on my website – you will only get the gagged version.
Raise this issue on the face book petition.
What I shall be doing
I am writing to the GMC to clarify what it is exactly they are telling me to do. Their directions are open to wide interpretation and my view of what I am directed to do may be at odds with theirs.
I have 14 days to make changes – during this time you can see what my actual opinion is - after that you get the gagged version.
I have to appeal this verdict to restore my right to freedom of clinical opinion and right to prescribe so that I can continue to help my patients. I will let you know what steps I am taking ASAP.
Dr Myhill's presentation to the GMC will be available on line at 9.30am Thursday April 29th
Thursday April 29th – my presentation to the GMC IOP will be made available here at 9.30 Dr Myhill defends her case at the General Medical Council Interim Orders Panel hearing
Thursday April 29th 1.45 pm Speeches to be made at the Demonstration will be available here at 1.45pm Demonstration speeches: Ruth Myhill, Dr Myhill and Jane Martel
Video footage of the Demo will be available on line as soon as reasonably possible.
Vital Statistics on Monday 26 April
Emails to the GMC – 630 – and not just any old email – detailed, logical, to the point. On-line petition – 3,166 signatures – many accompanied by thoughtful and incisive comments. Face Book - 1,639 entries – many heart-warming stories here. This webpage has been accessed 18,105 times in the last 20 days
In addition many letters by post have also been sent to the GMC - they will all be at the Hearing.
GMC Case Office Paul Bridge tells Dr Myhill “Have a nice weekend”
Dr Myhill’s office has been inundated with telephone calls and emails from anxious patients . “What if Dr Myhill loses her license to practise – what will come of me?”
The GMC do not appear to appreciate that for many sick patients she is their last port of call. Despite over 500 letters and 3,000 petition signatures and comments the GMC have still not got the message. Losing her license will mean that the GMC will be directly harming patients.
“No Mr Bridge, Dr Myhill will not be having a nice weekend”. Neither will hundreds of her patients.
This comment is symptomatic of the frivolous and uncaring way in which the GMC has run this investigation. GMC Good Medical Practice states the duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council:
“Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health. To justify that trust you must show respect for human life and you must make the care of your patient your first concern”
The GMC should take a leaf out of their own book.
Our Anonymous Complainant has announced himself on the Internet
This was posted on the Bad Science forum on Thursday April 15th at 2.20am
“OK, so I finally bit the bullet and complained (anonymously for reasons that will become clear) to the GMC about uber-quack, Dr Sarah Myhill and to my surprise they have decided to launch a Fitness to Practise investigation. Her response has been quite interesting so I thought I would share it with the Badscience community. It will be interesting to see how the GMC proceed as I believe she has been in the same situation on numerous occasions in the past with similar public campaigns resulting in the GMC dropping charges for undisclosed reasons.
She has a (public) Interim Order Panel (IOP) hearing on 29th April at which she could have her license to practise suspended for 18 months.
Those who live in glass houses should masturbate in the basement - Dara O'briain”
"I actually find this quite funny as my initial contact with the GMC was just a speculative email to the general enquiries email asking whether it would actually be worth submitting another complaint given the failure of the previous 6 efforts. This was written with some haste during a coffee break and hence contained a few typo’s. Amusingly, after submitting my full complaint the GMC decided to use this email to front the complaint to Myhill *sigh*."
The Silent Army and the Noisy Army will demonstrate outside GMC Offices London at 1.30pm on Thursday April 29th
This demonstration is not just about Dr Myhill. It is also about how the ME/CFS community has been systematically down-trodden by the Medical Establishment for decades. Come and leave your mark!
If you are not well enough to come (and I do not want very sick people made more ill as a result of this day), join the Silent Army! Send a picture of yourself by email to the demo organiser Ruth Myhill email@example.com with a short message to the GMC (no more than 8 words). These will be made public on the day.
If you can come - yippee! Bring an A3 size paper with a message from you to the GMC which can be read in a photo shoot! We will gather at 1.30pm, the Silent Army will be there for all to see, there will be a speech by Dr Myhill and at 2pm the GMC will deliver its verdict. We will then disperse. Please tell Ruth if you can be there so she can keep you all updated.
We shall bring every single letter and email that has been sent to the GMC together with the on-line petition, Phoenix Rising petition and Facebook. If you have not put your name to these - please do so now!
- Send a picture of yourself by email to the demo organiser Ruth Myhill firstname.lastname@example.org with a short message to the GMC (no more than 8 words).
- Petition - see WITCH HUNT OF DR SARAH MYHILL - this now has 2972 signatories!
- Facebook: SUPPORT DR SARAH MYHILL 1,205 entries
- Blog on Phoenix Rising actions at Dr MyHill's License in Jeopardy
- One Click has done a lovely job - see Support Dr Sarah Myhill Campaign Launched. Ask to be put on the mailing list.
For directions to the GMC see GMC Euston Road London map
Please keep in regular touch with this website - the GMC have changed the arrangements once and this has cause havoc already!
The Hearing is at 9.30am on Thursday April 29th . There are 24 seats available to the Public which have all been booked. Unless you have a seat do not come at 9.30! In the Public Interest we have asked the GMC to allow us to video record the meeting. This will go on-line as soon as technically possible. We will keep you updated on this website of details.
If you do have a seat booked for the Hearing but are not well enough to attend, please let us know at email@example.com so that we can fill it.
GMC refuse any recording of this public hearing other than their own written account
The Public Interest in this case has been enormous and world wide. Therefore I asked the GMC to allow me to appoint an independent company to make a live recording, video or audio, to be available live on-line during or immediately after the Hearing.
It has taken the GMC six days to respond to my request. They have absolutely refused point blank. Scott Geddes, Head of Adjudication Standards and Fitness to Practice refused on three grounds:
- 1. Because of the “potential impact of recording on the conduct of preceedings”
When I pinned him down on specifics he said “We just don’t do it...”
- 2. Because of “the future use of any such recordings”
Again when pinned down – “Well you may edit it or quote out of context...”
- 3. Because of “the issue of consent of those present at the hearing”
When pinned down – “We do not permit recording”
He tells me we have to trust the GMC independent transcribers to provide an accurate account of what is said. I explained that I had found the GMC wanting in the past with respect to trust and gave four examples:
- The GMC have been taking patients’ NHS records without patient knowledge or consent and without anonymising the notes.
- There are 45 of my letters to the GMC that are missing from the GMC file. I know this because they do not appear in either a DPA nor FoI search of GMC files. Neither do they appear in the GMC official file that dropped all allegations with no case to answer.
- Jackie Smith, Head of GMC Fitness to Practise Investigations, refused to respond to or agree minutes of a meeting I had with her on 12.8.09 to discuss concerns about GMC handling of my case as flagged up by John Macdonald QC. Indeed, she has refused to respond to any emails and letters sent to her by me since that meeting. This made a mockery of that meeting.
- The GMC have upheld fabricated or nonsensical allegations against me despite being in possession of facts which disproved their own allegations.
All we can expect from the GMC is a GMC transcript of the Hearing which will be available the next day Friday 12 noon.
The GMC are taking patients' notes without their knowledge or consent
I have been investigated by the GMC since 2001. During this time the GMC have been taking the private and confidential NHS medical records of my patients without their knowledge or consent. This has been done without informing patients, nor asking permission, without anonymising the notes, nor informing the patient of their legal right to object to this action. The GMC state they do this in the Public Interest, but have consistently refused to state what that Public Interest is.
I have raised these concerns on numerous occasions with the GMC both in letters, at a meeting with Ms Jackie Smith on 12th August 2009, Head of Investigations of the GMC and as a formal complaint to the Solicitors' Regulations Authority about GMC Solicitors and Solicitors acting for the GMC.
No action has been taken on this issue by the GMC. I know that they are continuing to take confidential patient NHS medical records without knowledge or consent because one such set of notes has just been delivered to my office. The GMC took these patient NHS confidential notes in August 2009. I was not informed.
My patients have been extremely distressed by these actions and rightly so. This has been a source of great distress to many patients. It has also been a great source of distress to me that just by dint of being a private patient of mine, patient NHS records are then at risk of being taken in the course of GMC’s investigations of me.
My office has been inundated with telephone calls and emails which include many from distressed patients who do not know if their confidential NHS medical records have been taken by the GMC without their knowledge. I am unable to reassure them they have not because I am not informed when the GMC take my patients NHS records. The only way you can find out if this has been done is to ask the GMC.
Further info as to rights - see http://www.gmc-uk.org/publications/right_to_know/data_protection.asp:
A typical DPA request letter you can source here DPA letter
What you can do to help
- Come to the Demo OR join the Silent Army by sending a photo and short message to Demo organiser Ruth Myhill firstname.lastname@example.org so she can keep you informed.
- Write a letter to the GMC Mr Paul Bridge email@example.com
- Sign up to Facebook: SUPPORT DR SARAH MYHILL
- Blog on Phoenix Rising actions at Dr MyHill's License in Jeopardy
- Sign the petition - see WITCH HUNT OF DR SARAH MYHILL
- Join One Click - see Support Dr Sarah Myhill Campaign Launched.
Is this British Justice?
The GMC granted me one working day to prepare my case for an IOP Hearing at which my license to practice medicine could be suspended. The GMC state in their own guidelines "In practice, the vast majority of interim orders will be imposed by an IOP."
Their summons was delivered to my office. The GMC are under no obligation to ensure I personally had received that summons. Had I been away from the office for a day I would have been Mrs Myhill by now! GMC procedures are that 7 days’ notice should be given.
GMC rules Section (7) are “An IOP does not make findings of fact or determine the allegations against the doctor”. This means any old person can make up any old allegation and if the GMC is so minded, I can be strung up! For all I know a 28 year old man blogging on the Internet from Australia in his coffee break could be my accuser!
I requested the GMC ask my accuser for a Declaration of Interest. They refused.
The IOP has the power to subpoena witnesses. I do not. I have asked the GMC to subpoena key witnesses on my behalf but they have yet to tell me if they will do so. It is necessary because there are inconsistencies in this witness statement that need clarifying – these facts are crucial to the defence of my case.
The IOP can choose who to hear and who not. They can silence witnesses I call such as Dr Shideh Pouria and Dr Rajendra Sharma whom I have called to testify to my character and abilities as a doctor. The only people who have the right to speak are my representative Mr John Macdonald QC and me – I shall have to make the speech of my life – and my professional future and the well-being of my patients hang on it.
Because the allegations against me are so wide-ranging and largely about what a danger the information in my website is to public safety I have requested that all the letters to the GMC from patients, petitions (Witch Hunt and Phoenix Rising) together with Face Book entries should all be made available to all nine members of the Panel and they be afforded the time to read these submissions. As yet GMC are unable to assure me this will be done.
My IOP hearing will be in public. In the Public Interest I have requested live video record and on-line streaming. The GMC do not have a policy on this. Having been promised a reply two days’ ago the GMC still have no answer.
Currently there are
- 419 Letters and emails to GMC - astonishing, intelligent, hard hitting, carefully thought out letters which so far have produced over 700 pages of printing
- 2,673 names on the Witch Hunt Petition – with many wonderful heart warming comments – currently 219 pages of printing.
- Facebook – 1,437 – Even more pages yet to be printed out.
The GMC do not care who is complaining
I wrote to the GMC explaining that I did not wish to know the identity of the website complainant but I did wish to know what or whom he was representing - so I asked the GMC to invite the complainant to sign a Declaration of Interest form. I did this because, in the past, doctors practising nutritional medicine have been targeted by investigative journalists representing other interests.
The GMC's reply today from Mr Bridge is:
"The GMC's policy is that we do not disclose any other details for reasons of confidentiality and therefore we would not be prepared to contact Mr J---- and ask him to sign a declaration of interest"
Ho hum ........ says it all really! GMC not interested in finding the real agenda!
April 12th Monday
Another extraordinary day! Emails have been flooding in faster than we can return them - Hania and Caroline have been working flat out doing nothing else!
- Jane Bryant says "I've just been on to the GMC Press Office and they're cacking themselves. All wobbly-like, they asked me how many people are planning to attend? Haven't got a clue, I answered breezily, watch this space". If you wish to come to the Hearing please telephone the GMC so you can be booked in. Either phone the GMC on 020 7189 5454 or email the GMC at GMC Press Office to reserve a place. Follow the One Click trail with one click on The One Click Group
- Facebook has 349 members - oops - now 450!
- The on-line petition has 226 signatures - oops - Craig says 344!!!
- This page has had 2,499 hits in the last 4 days.
- We have 145 letters of protest to the GMC
- Aerotoxic pilots on-side at Aerotoxic Association's campaign. I am lecturing at their conference the day before the Hearing!
- And I found my daughter Ruth had posted the following on Face Book - brought tears to my eyes.....
"OK, so you might think that I'm a little biased because this is my Mum but dammit! I also know her very well! I don't know anyone who is harder working or more caring. Mum is always thinking about her patients and what's in their best interests rather than what might be easiest for her or most lucrative - the woman has... a conscience. In fact, to the extent that sometimes, drat her, she's is more interested in trying to help people and improve her knowledge than she is in her own lovely daughters. I had a week's holiday with her in February, about her first for a decade. It is almost beyond belief that she might have her licence removed for posing a threat to patient welfare but just in case the GMC is that ignorant please please offer her any support that you can. Even if it's just a rant on Facebook like this."
Update Sunday April 11th
This has been the most extraordinary weekend with wonderful emails of support - a very humbling experience. Just this weekend I have received copies of 75 superb letters to the GMC! These are not just from patients but people all over the world including America (Chicago, California, Colorado, Maine, Ilinois, Florida), Canada, Australia (New South Wales), Germany, The Netherlands, France (2), Norway (Professor of Medicine)) and now nineteen letter from Italy!
- Jane Bryant at One Click has done a lovely job - see Support Dr Sarah Myhill Campaign Launched.
- Beverley Gibson has lit a trail on Facebook: SUPPORT DR SARAH MYHILL
- Pauline Donaldson is reactivating the petition - see WITCH HUNT OF DR SARAH MYHILL
- Craig Robinson is collating all the emails which will be rolled out at the GMC
- Also see Phoenix Rising actions at Dr MyHill's License in Jeopardy
- My secretaries Hania, Jane, Caroline, Nicky, Rosie, Lyn, Judy, Helen, Julia, Vicky and Colette are going through all the notes to make sure everyone has been informed - they have done A to F but the rest of the alphabet will follow!
- One of my patients is happy to help people with letters - if you are not a natural writer - we can put you in touch with her.
- Many people are taking their cases to the Press on the grounds that if I lose my licence to practise then their health will be directly and adversely affected. The prime purpose of the GMC is supposed to be to protect the General Public! In this respect patients have much more power than doctors.
- Many others too numerous to mention are swinging into action!
- Since I put this page on two days ago it has received 1,687 hits!
Please, contact me or the office if you have any questions - I would love to respond to all emails personally but I have a full week of work booked up so I may struggle to stay ahead of the game - even now the emails are coming in faster than I can reply! Amazing!
I face an Interim Order Panel at which I could be suspended from the medical register on April 29th 2010
Use the mouse to put the cursor over the coloured writing, then one click to access these documents - I am no computer buff either!
The GMC and me - since 2001
Since 2001 I have faced the prospect of six General Medical Council Hearings with a view to me being struck off the Medical Register. All the complaints came from doctors, none from patients. No patient was harmed or put at risk of harm. As a result of the early investigations I was unable to obtain medical indemnity cover for GMC hearings and so have defended mysef with no legal help.
In 2007 all allegations against me were dropped with no case to answer and no restrictions on any of my practice. In the aftermath of that I asked Mr John Macdonald QC to prepare an overview of what had gone before. This you can see at John Macdonald's Opinion - Sarah Myhill and the GMC 2001-2007 which tells the story in an independent way. The idea was to use this as the basis for discussions with the GMC so I could explain the nature of my practice and expain why I appeared to be the subject of concern to other doctors.
My Meeting with Jackie Smith Head of GMC Investigations August 12th 2009
As a result of Mr McDonald's report I had an informal meeting with Jackie Smith. She refused to allow Mr McDonald to be present at that meeting so I attended alone. I had hoped these informal discussions would lead the GMC to a better understanding of the nature of my practice. I requested that should further complaints arise then they could be discussed informally first and thereby clear up problems before unnecessary unpleasantness arose. Indeed this was the advice of the GMC's own barrister Mr Tom Kark to the GMC.
Ms Smith was not prepared to discuss anything of any substance and there was no meeting of minds. However I prepared minutes of the meeting, see Meeting with Jackie Smith Head of GMC Investigations, which she has refused to sign. Indeed despite sending her many letters and emails she continues to refuse to even acknowledge those minutes, let alone sign for them!
The cost to the GMC so far has been substantial. During the five years that I have been subject to GMC allegations, the GMC has spent £136,692.12 on external solicitors, in addition to their own internal costs. They do not know their own costs, something which is in breach of Charitiy Commission law, but a complaint to the Charities Commission has been pooh-poohed. I suggested to Ms Smith that the total cost to the GMC would be in the order of £500,000 which she agreed was likely. However, this did not cause Ms Smith any concern and her view was that this was a responsible way to spend GMC resources and that no further action was required to look into this expenditure.
The GMC are supposed to keep copies of all correspondence, especially from me. As a result of a Freedom of Information Act search I have copies of all GMC correspondence concerning my cases. A great many letters I had sent to the GMC were missing from the file, and they did not appear in the final documents which exonerated me. I asked Ms Smith to find those files - she promised to look into the matter but nothing has happened. The missing letters are listed in Meeting with Jackie Smith Head of GMC Investigations. Again this contravenes the GMC's own procedures, but they seem oblivious to this and uncaring.
My Complaint to the Solicitors' Regulation Authority
It has been a feature of GMC investigations that they have taken patients' private and confidential medical notes often without patients' knowledge, often without permission, without offering them their legal right to object and without anonymising their notes. This I have complained about to the SRA and the details of my complaint can be seen in Complaint to SRA. I have yet to hear back from the SRA with respect to these concerns.
However I am mindful and concerned that the GMC may have accessed a great many of my patients' private and confidential medical records without their knowledge or permission. The GMC are aware of my concerns but have done nothing to address them.
Details of the charges I face
The GMC have formulated no actual allegations against me. However, on the basis of two complaints against me I have to appear before an Interim Order Panel on April 29th, when my licence to practise medicine could be suspended for up to 18 months. I am guilty until proven innocent.
The letter from the GMC dated 7 April 2010 to me states "The Case Examiner has reached this decision after considering there is a potential risk to public safety". The Case Examiner is anonymous.
The first complaint was from a group of doctors. I received a letter from the GMC informing me of it in December 2009. I replied immediately, since when I have heard no more from the GMC or the doctors. That complaint is over concerns that I recommended B12 injections to a patient.
The second complaint is anonymous and comes from a person who says that "I do not want to open myself to possible harassment". The complaint is:
- "Her name is Dr Sarah myhill (sic) (GMC reg No. 2734668) and I find the information in her website very worrying. I am concerned that patients are being seriously mislead (sic) by her advice, both online and most likely in consultation at her practice. In some cases I think her recommendations are a serious risk to patient safety. Some specific examples are listed below but there are many more on her website."
(The spelling errors are as per letter of complaint). He goes on to list web pages mainly to do with vaccination and drug therapies.
This letter of complaint arrived on March 30th 2010 and the GMC asked me to respond within 4 weeks. The letter asking me to attend the IOP arrived on April 8th with a proposed hearing on April 12th 2010. Clearly the GMC are not in the least bit interested in hearing my response to this second complaint! I have asked the GMC if they would consider my response to this website and consultation complaint before the Interim Order Panel but they have not granted my request.
Under section 17 of the GMC "Imposing Interim Orders" April 2007 it states: "It is important to keep in mind that the IOP does not make findings of fact or to resolve disputes of fact". This means I am not permitted to establish the facts of the case, let alone respond to them. This does not seem to concern the GMC.
With respect to opinion, I quote from GMC’s Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Mr Neil Jink’s letter to me of 7.8.06.
- "It is not the place of the GMC to take a position on the correctness of generally recommended or of possible cutting edge treatments......."
Yet it appears the GMC is doing precisely this. Setting my opinion against an anonymous observer and coming down on the side of anonymity.
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