Scott Geddes, Head of GMC Investigations

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Dr Sarah Myhill MB BS, Upper Weston, Llangunllo, Knighton, Powys, Wales, UK LD7 1SL

May 5th 2010
Mr Scott Geddes
Head of Investigations
General Medical Council
Regents Place
350 Euston Road
London NW1 3JN

Dear Mr Geddes,

Concerns arising from my IOP Hearing on April 29th 2010

I have concerns about the procedures and running of my IOP.

Please, could you address the following questions as a matter of urgency.

  • In January 2006 the GMC received a complaint about me from Dr Charles Swainson of Lothian NHS Board. I note that on the IOP there was a Dr Lewis Morrison also from Lothian NHS. Please, can you ask Dr Morrison for a letter confirming that he had no knowledge of me or my case before this IOP. I note that both Drs Swainson and Morrison are involved in the provision of stroke services in Scotland (see ref (1) below).
  • In his presentation to the Hearing, Mr Summers, the GMC prosecutor, made a false statement with respect to who initiated the process to teach the administration of B12 injections. Is Mr Summers personally responsible for checking the veracity of such statements or does this responsibility lie with the GMC?
  • Why did discussions of restrictions on my license to practise take place before I had given my statement? This gives the clear impression that the GMC had decided upon the outcome of my case before even hearing from me.
  • What steps did the GMC take to confirm the identity of the website complainant. Without doing this, the complainant effectively remains anonymous, even to the GMC.
  • I note the GMC’s new rules on vexatious complaints were brought into effect last August 2009. I consider both complaints to be vexatious. Which guidances did the GMC apply in my case to conclude the opposite?
  • Letters essential to my defence in previous GMC hearings were either deliberately or accidentally filleted from the record. There were 45 missing. I complained about this to the GMC and on the day of my Hearing, those letters were all delivered to my office with a covering letter from Julian Graves dated 26 April 2010, stating: “I’m sorry that some of these letters were not disclosed to you as a result of your previous subject access requests.”
Mr Graves lists 38 letters as not having been previously disclosed, 5 letters as having been previously disclosed and 2 letters that he was unable to trace. Did the Panel have access to those letters in their perusal of my previous files? What other information essential to my defence was also withheld? I am mindful that the past GMC record of a defendant has also to be considered and am concerned that this did not happen in my case.
  • Timing. The GMC did not allow me sufficient time to prepare my defence nor brief my representative. Initially I was given one full working day’s notice of an IOP. The IOP rules are that 7 working days’ notice should be given. This was only extended by 13 working days when I appealed. Furthermore, the expert witness report was only sent to me three days before my hearing. Given the GMC had allowed themselves 10 months to investigate the B12 complaint and 14 weeks to investigate the website complaint, the time afforded to me was unfair. At the very least, the time given to me to peruse the Expert Witness report would appear to be against the spirit of GMC rules which allow 7 days’ notice. Is this usual GMC practice?
  • In the course of his presentation Mr Summers put the identity of the patient involved at risk. He released sufficient information at that public Hearing from which the patient could, with minimal investigation, be identified. Should this happen is Mr Summers or the GMC responsible for this breach of confidentiality? The relevant paragraph is:

“In short, the case was brought to the attention of the GMC by eight GPs in that Yorkshire practice in the letter of 18 June 2009. The mother of the patient had self-referred to Dr Myhill after discovering her website on the web, as a result of which Dr Myhill requested a blood sample in respect of her son, an adult.

Following analysis of the blood sample Dr Myhill wrote to the patient’s mother outlining various theories and treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome. In particular, she advised that he be administered B12 and magnesium sulphate injections. Dr Woods advised the mother that he would not be able to prescribe these drugs, being unsure why the patient should be prescribed the drugs in the first place. In particular, the patient was a known suffer of – and I am going to use the letter “B” – of juvenile [B’s] disease.”

  • The GMC took the patient’s notes without their knowledge or permission. In doing so they broke the terms of the Data Protection Act and hence were acting illegally. Please could the GMC now inform the patient that this is what has been done?
  • The restrictions on my practice are illogical. As a result of recommending the use of B12 injections, all my prescribing rights have been lifted. Please explain the logic for this.
  • Consistency. I note Dr Jane Barton was investigated over 12 years for the deaths of 95 patients in her care of which 5 were clearly shown to be due to morphine overdose. She had a GMC Hearing on 29th January 2010. She lost her right to prescribe opiates for the next 3 years, whilst all other drug prescribing was permitted. The decision to lift all my prescribing rights on the basis of recommending a B12 injection is inconsistent with the Barton case. As a result of this I am unable to practise effectively as a doctor and unable to earn a living as a qualified doctor. Please can you send me GMC guidance on the imposition of sanctions on doctors?
  • Expert witness report. I have a right to be judged by my peers. Professor Bouloux by his own admission is not expert in the areas of chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • Can you please confirm that all of the thousands of emails, letters and petition comments sent in my support were taken into account by the Panel and that sufficient time was allowed for these documents to be read and digested by Panel members?

I would ask you that these issues are considered as a matter of urgency. My patients are suffering already because I cannot avail them of my full medical services.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Myhill