IMPORTANT - Dr Skinner Needs
Dr Skinner has a Fitness to
Practice Hearing in July 2007 and he needs your
If you haven't already, please sent testimonials to:
General Medical Council, Regent's Place, 350 Euston Road,
London NW1 3JN
PLEASE also copy to:-
Afshan Ahmad, 22 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8BE
Dr Mark Dudley, Medical Protection Society, 33 Cavendish
Square, London W1G OPS
Mr Ralph Shipway, RadcliffeLeBrasseur [Solicitors] 5 Great
Westminster, London, SW1P 3SJ
Dr Skinner -
Interim Orders Panel
26th February 2007 in Manchester
Dr Skinner was before the Interim Orders Panel again, this
time held in Manchester. Unfortunately, due to my teaching
commitments I was unable to go but I have received some
information on what happened.
The Chairlady read out the same statement as the one from
the last IOP even though Dr Skinner has repeatedly asked
them to correct the fact that there has only ever been one
complaint from ONE patient rather than PATIENTS.
Dr Skinner’s Barrister presented a letter from Dr Skinner to
the Panel, which they all read and completely ignored. This
is the letter:
Gordon RB Skinner MD (Hons) DSc, FRCPath
22, Alcester Road
Tel/Fax 0121 449 8895
23rd February 2007
I would like to make the following submissions to the
Interim Orders Panel on 26th February 2007.
1. I refute allegations without qualification of impaired
practice, inappropriate prescribing or placing my patients
2. I deplore the misrepresentations that have been made by a
few practitioners about my medical practice and would ask
that they be called to account by the General Medical
3. I ask the Panel that in the light of meticulously
applying their conditions over nearly two years, may I be
provided with an explanation of why Conditional Registration
is being maintained.
4. Given the Panel’s assertion (in writing) that they have
no remit to examine facts, how can I ever be deemed
innocent. This is not guilt until proven innocent but guilt
without opportunity of proving innocence.
5. The GMC have removed a number of cases from the Fitness
to Practise hearing but these cases continued in the papers
of the Interim Orders Procedure and in the documents which
proceeded to the High Court of Justice asking for an
extension of these procedures. This is hardly reasonable.
I request written notification that I am innocent of
misdoing in these cases and request a written and public
apology for a two year investigation on a patient whom I
have never seen and whom the GMC were formally advised that
I had never seen. This is disgraceful by any standards.
POINT 6 REFERS TO CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS
7. The transmission of these IOP procedures into the public
domain is said to be a ‘constitutional requirement’; a
second constitutional requirement is being ignored namely to
tell the truth. I have repeatedly advised that there has
been only one complaint from one patient in my professional
life while there is repeated report of complaints
(plural) from patients in not only internet deliveries but
by the barrister who has acted for the GMC. I think you will
agree that this creates a most unfavourable impression to
both profession and laity. I ask that the Panel ensure that
this is corrected in their transcripts and again I feel an
apology will be perfectly proper in the circumstances. This
level of adversarial negligence is disappointing; I would
remind the Panel that they have a duty of impartiality to a
practitioner who is indeed a subscribing member of the GMC.
Finally as evidenced by petitions and many testimonials, I
have done my best to honour the Hippocratic Oath and believe
I have returned many patients to full health without
This whole process is a total contrivance. Instead of
reasonable academic debate, it seems that the refuge of the
insecure is to vilify a practitioner who is doing his best
for his patients. I would ask that the conditional
registration be withdrawn and my full registration returned
Gordon RB Skinner MD DSc FRCPath FRCOG
doubt there will be another IOP before the Fitness to
Practice and if there is, I will inform everyone of the date
as soon as I can.
must continue to fight this or we will be losing one of the
best doctors in the UK who can help all the patients who
have been left on the scrap heap by the NHS doctors.
Dr Skinner’s Fitness to Practice Postponed by GMC
The GMC had informed Dr Skinner that his Fitness to Practice
Hearing was fixed for 8th January 2007. Dr Skinner had a
meeting recently with his solicitor from the Medical
Protection Society and it transpires that the Fitness to
Practice Hearing has now been postponed until July 2007 due
to the fact that the GMC felt that their expert witness’
report was generally favourable to Dr Skinner. It seems
that the GMC are now trying to find someone else who will do
a better job for them.
In one respect, it is so unfair - to keep Dr Skinner
dangling on a string like that. However, we must look at it
from the perspective of “How frightened are the GMC??” They
must be very worried if their “Expert Witness” could not
come up with the goods. Let’s hope so!!
For those of you who want to support Dr Skinner, letters
now need to be sent to your local MP with copies to
the people below. Even if you have written to
support him before, please write again in the strongest of
Ms Patricia Collins, Investigation Officer, Fitness to
Practise Directorate, General Medical Council, 5th Floor, St
James's Buildings, 79 Oxford Street, Manchester,
M1 6FQ Phone: 08453578001 FAX: 08453579001
Also - copies must be sent to:
Mr R R Shipway, RadcliffeLeBrasseur, 5 Great College Street,
Westminster, London, SW1P 3SJ
Afshan Ahmad, 22, Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13
Could I also ask those of you who attended the Interim
Orders Panel, where he was refused a chance to speak, to
mention this in your letters. The GMC are stating that
this did not happen because it is not in the Transcript. It
did happen and I was there. The whole room groaned in shock
at the way he was told, “No, you can’t!” We must protest
about this. This is pure cover up!!
Update on Dr Skinner's IOP 7/8/06
The GMC have allowed Dr Skinner to continue practising with
the same conditions as before. However, because time is
running out (the rules are that any restrictions on doctors
can only last 18 months) the GMC have to apply to the High
Court to ask for the restrictions to continue. Dr Skinner's
team hope to be able to write to the High Court.
Click here to read the transcript of the Hearing.
Diana Holmes has sent us this message.
If anyone out there can help, please do - it will help Dr
Skinner's case enormously!
I am now trying to encourage people to write to me if they
have suffered from ME and then consulted with Dr Skinner and
found to be suffering from hypothyroidism - treated for
hypothyroidism with the result that the majority of symptoms
have been alleviated and patients are now living more of a
I would appreciate it if you would circulate this to your
This will be important for the October Meeting.
My address is set out below: -
221d Crateford Lane
UPDATE ON DR SKINNER – 1.7.06.
I have just been informed that the GMC have asked
for the next IOP to be on the 7th August at 9.30am.
Dr Skinner is pre-booked for a very important VRI meeting
that day and asked to change it to the 11th August but the
GMC have refused. This means that Dr Skinner will not be
there to defend himself but since they didn’t allow him to
speak last time, it may not make any difference. However, it
would be brilliant if people could attend.
NB. For those of you who cannot attend, please
contact Alison Thompson to request the transcript when it is
ready - and ask her to acknowledge receipt of the request.
Her email address is
Doing this will mean that even if people can't
attend, the GMC will be aware of our interest. The more
people who do this the better!
Afshan states, “Dr Skinner will not be able to go but it
will be very helpful to him and generally quite an
interesting statement to the GMC of his patient support for
him if patients could attend even if he can't. The second
thing is that the patients would be an independent body
watching and reporting on the proceedings in Dr Skinner's
absence so it will be really helpful if you could let
everyone know. It will be really helpful if patients could
The address is: The General Medical Council, Regent's Place,
350 Euston Road, London NW1 3JN. It is a very big building
with large open reception area on the ground floor. The
hearing rooms are on the upper floors.
Please also write in support of Dr Skinner. You need to
write to Adam Elliott and/or Alison Thompson, Assistant
Registrar at the Adjudication Section, (Email:
email@example.com) and for good measure you may also wish
to copy your letter to Professor Sir Graeme Catto who is the
President of the GMC.
I have also been informed that any letters sent to the GMC
do not go on Dr Skinner’s. This will only happen if they go
through the Medical Protection Society. Apparently, the
testimonials do go in the file. So, in future if we write to
the GMC, we should all send copies of our letters to the
Dr. Mark Dudley,MPS, 33 Cavendish Sq., London, W1G OPS
Mr. Ralph Shipway, RadcliffeLeBrasseur, 5 Great College
Street, Westminster, London
Mrs. Afshan Ahmad, 22 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham,
This is a very serious issue so please, please, can everyone
write, phone, e-mail or fax your support whether or not you
are able to attend the hearing. Other patient led support
groups are involved in this but if you know of anyone else
eg patients, family or friends, can you please ask them to
demonstrate their support by attending on the day and/or by
We need to show the GMC that Dr Skinner has helped many,
many people get well and that his way of treating may well
help many more in the future!
For more information contact: Pamela Lynch (before 8pm) on
Report on IOP Review of Dr
Gordon Skinner –
General Medical Council - 15th June 2006 - 10.30am
When I arrived at 10.20am, most of the supporters had
already been shown into a side room to await the hearing.
I was worried that it was so near the start time but I need
There were about 40 people there from all walks of life and
it was an extremely good net-working experience. I am sure
we will be working with some of the people I met. Diana
Holmes asked everyone to write to their MPs regarding a
meeting she is organising some time in October. (I later
informed her of our
All Party Parliamentary Group
Shortly after I arrived, we were told that the Hearing would
not be starting before 11.30am and there was a rush for the
ladies and the coffee machine! At midday I suggested that
the Hearing would be put off until after lunch and, sure
enough, we were then told that it would be starting at
1.30pm prompt! A stroll to the local Pret-a-Manger was in
order where we all enjoyed some refreshment before wandering
back to the waiting room again. I chatted to Dr Skinner
(who was wearing his kilt and looked splendid!) and Afshan
for a while, along with some of our members. It was so nice
to put faces to names!
Soon after 1.30pm we were invited to a bigger room, where
the Hearing was to take place.
At the beginning of the Hearing Dr Skinner was asked to give
his full name and his registration number which he gave, as
last time, in a clear, strong voice which showed exactly
what he thought of the Panel!
The Panel first stated that they were unable to resolve
conflicts in respect of medical law and that this would be
for the Fitness to Practise Panel to do.
The Solicitor for the GMC then proceeded to ramble on for 20
minutes about the fact that Dr Skinner had complied with all
restrictions and had furnished the GMC with all the
paperwork required in respect of the Log Book and Patients’
records but that it was difficult to read, understand and
photocopy them because Post It Notes had been used. Those
of us in the public gallery were absolutely amazed at this.
Why on earth it wasn’t possible to take the Post It Notes
off or move them to another section was quite beyond us!
He did say that along with the notes of the patients that
had complained taken from the last Hearing, there were
testimonials from patients in support of Dr Skinner. He
informed the Panel that his conclusion was that he was happy
with the fact that Dr Skinner had complied with the
restrictions although a different way to annotate them might
be more appropriate.
It was then the turn of Dr Skinner’s defence team to speak
and, I must say, we were a little bemused with the fact that
they said nothing except that they refute the claims and
were looking forward to the Fitness to Practice Hearing in
January. The Panel then asked us to leave the room while
I thought this might take half an hour but, no, it took much
longer than that. I think it was about two hours later that
we were called in again to hear the deliberations.
The deliberations were read out to us and, basically, they
remain unchanged from last time except with regard to the
pagination etc. (ie no Post It Notes!)
Click here to read the deliberations.
After the deliberations had been read out, Dr Skinner put
his hand up and asked if he could speak. The Chair of the
Panel gave a resounding, “No!” to which the public gallery
all objected quite loudly – we had been as quiet as mice up
until that point!
The GMC defence looked over and smiled slyly at us, to which
someone made a derogatory comment but unfortunately, there
was nothing more we could do. We had to file out of the
room and head downstairs. We were all extremely angry about
I felt that perhaps Dr Skinner needed a better defence team
(he told us at the local wine bar that he had, in no
uncertain terms, told his team that he was unhappy with
them) especially for the Fitness to Practice Hearing.
Hopefully, he will think about this especially since his
case may well set a precedent for the future.
To see the transcript of the Hearing,
please click here
DR. SKINNER and the GMC
As you are
all aware, Dr Gordon Skinner was called before the Interim
Orders Panel at the General Medical Council at Regent’s
Place, 350 Euston Road, London NW1 on 29th June 2005.
Dr Skinner was called under a Fitness to Practise case in
respect of “inappropriate clinical practice including
maintaining medication for patients at dangerous levels and
failures of communication with other medical practitioners.”
This was very serious as the IOP can suspend a doctor’s
registration for up to 18 months.
The Interim Orders Panel is a public meeting and therefore
the public can attend – and they did! There were
approximately 45 people there to support Dr Skinner and our
representative was Anne Crashley. A member of staff at the
GMC stated, “I have never seen anything like this before.”
Everyone was kept waiting for an hour and a half before the
meeting finally started and when the panel asked for Dr
Skinner’s name, he responded in a fearless and forthright
manner with a clear unwavering voice which showed exactly
how he feels about the GMC.
Here at Thyroid UK we think that Government money could have
been much better spent especially since Dr Skinner has very
recently been registered by the Health Commission and has
been checked, double checked and turned inside out to check
for any problems in his clinics and practice!
The allegations included:
Treating euthyroid patients with thyroxine (meaning
people with “normal” blood test results) – specifically
starting a patient on 150mcg of thyroxine when her blood
test levels were euthyroid (T4 11.6 in a range of 9.0 –
20.00 and TSH 2.2 in a range of 0.4 – 5.5) – Dr Skinner
refuted that he started the patient on 150mcg.
writing to a GP (the letter went missing in our postal
system.) The GP could have simply made a phone call
instead of complaining to the GMC.
complaint by a doctor who had been contacted by a
pharmacist because he had received a prescription of
150mcg thyroxine and 20mcg liothyronine – obviously,
this pharmacist needs to get some Continued Professional
Treating a patient without a referral letter from her GP
– was he supposed to send her home after she had
travelled so far?
two other complaints via an endocrinologist’s who wrote that
he had not talked about his complaint to his patients – I
There were comments in the transcript about Dr Skinner not
having “the expertise in the treatment of endocrine
disorders” (and GP’s do??)
There was a patient of Dr Skinner’s who had apparently given
thyroid extract to her mother and the GMC were trying to
blame Dr Skinner! This patient confirmed that Dr Skinner
knew nothing about that and that in respect of her own
health she wrote that “Since being treated by Dr Skinner I
have resumed optimal health, something I was told would
never happen. Well, I finally have my life back!”
One thing Thyroid UK are concerned about is that it was
mentioned that we were mentioned in a derogatory fashion –
“An internet search revealed that Dr Skinner is associated
with an organisation called Thyroid UK, whose website
indicates that they encourage patients to self medicate with
Bovine thyroid extract.” This is not true and I will be
contacting the GMC for a retraction.
In his defence, Dr Skinner was able to answer all the
allegations against him and the outcome of the Hearing was
that Dr Skinner was not suspended, as I’m sure certain NHS
specialists would have liked. However, the GMC did impose
certain conditions on Dr Skinner:
“In accordance with Section 41A of the Medical Act 1983, as
amended, the Interim Orders Panel has determined that it is
necessary for the protection of members of the public and in
the public interest to make an order imposing the following
interim conditions on your registration for a period of
eighteen months with effect from today.”
1. “You shall only accept new patients for
endocrinological treatment if they have been referred to you
by a fully registered medical practitioner.”
(Dr Skinner has always only accepted referral only patients
and it’s something we tell any prospective patients.
However, what happens if a GP won’t refer? I often get phone
calls from people where this happens.)
2. Prior to initiating any or varying any treatment
regime you shall ensure that you have communicated your
diagnosis and suggested care plan to the patient’s general
practitioner and if different the referring medical
(Dr Skinner is always keen to explain his treatment plan
to the patient’s GP. But what happens when a patient
specifically tells a doctor that she doesn’t want her GP to
know about her treatment. Where is the patient’s rights in
3. You shall keep a logbook of all patients seen in
relation to work carried out as a registered medical
practitioner. This book must contain the name of the patient
and the name and contact of the referring practitioner. This
book must be provided to the Panel prior to any subsequent
review of the order.
4. You shall keep, clear, contemporaneous and accurate
records, and ensure that your reasons for prescribing
outside of recommended guidelines are recorded.
(Dr Skinner sees no problem in this.)
5. Prior to any review of this order you shall ensure
that you provide the Panel with references, in writing, from
other professional colleagues with whom you work and from
general practitioners responsible for the care of your
(There is no problem with this – Dr Skinner has plenty of
professional colleagues that will write glowing references
and GP’s who have seen that his protocol works and has
helped their patients enormously.)
6. You shall notify all employers and contractors and all
prospective employers and contractors, whether for paid or
voluntary employment for which registration with the GMC is
required, of the matters under consideration by the GMC and
of these conditions. In the case of prospective employers or
contractors, this notification must be given at the time of
(Dr Skinner is very angry about this as he feels he has
done nothing wrong. He and his solicitor are planning a
meeting to discuss writing to the GMC to demand a retraction
7. You shall inform, in writing, the IOP Secretariat of
the GMC before undertaking any position for which
registration is required.
After the conditions the GMC continued:
“In reaching its decision to restrict your registration
the Panel has determined that there is information before it
today which suggests that your fitness to practise may be
impaired as a result of the allegations made against you.
These include, irregularities surrounding your prescribing
practice which may have potentially harmful consequences and
a failure to notify some of your patients’ General
Practitioners following treatment.
In all the circumstances, the Panel considers that if your
registration was to remain unrestricted you may pose a risk
to patients and the confidence that the public are entitled
to place in the medical profession and its practitioners
would be undermined.
The Panel has noted the circumstances surrounding the
complaints made against you by patients and other
professional colleagues. The Panel has concluded that these
are serious allegations which indicates that your
professional practice and conduct may have fallen short of
the standard expected of a medical practitioner. The Panel
is therefore satisfied that in all the circumstances it is
necessary to impose an order restricting your registration.
The Panel has taken into account the issue of
proportionality and has balanced the need to protect members
of the public and the public interest against the
consequences for you of the restriction of your
registration. Whilst it notes that its order has restricted
your ability to practise medicine, the Panel considered the
matters before it are of such a serious nature that these
conditions are required to adequately protect members of the
public and provide sufficient safeguards for the public
interest. In the circumstances it is satisfied that the
order is the proportionate response in light of the serious
allegations made against you.
The Panel is satisfied that the period of eighteen months is
necessary and appropriate. In reaching this decision the
Panel has taken into account not only the uncertainty of the
time needed to resolve all the issues in this case but also
the fact that whilst the total length of the order is
eighteen months you are entitled at any time to make an
application for an early review under Section 41A(2) of the
Act should the circumstances surrounding your case change.
Notwithstanding this, the order will be reviewed at a
further meeting of the Panel to be held within six months
unless matters have been resolved by that time.
Notification of this decision will be served upon you in
accordance with the Medical Act 1983, as amended."
Dr Skinner and Thyroid UK are incensed by these comments. I
know of many GP’s who really need to be hauled before the
GMC for the way they both speak to patients and deal with
patients, yet other doctors will not come forward.
It is my understanding that Dr Skinner has been asked to
take a Fitness to Practice Assessment. I am not exactly sure
what this entails but as soon as I find out, I’ll let you
know. If anyone would like a copy of the transcript of the
hearing, please send an email to
FOR THYROID UK WEBSITE
Gordon R B Skinner MD (Hons) DSc FRCPath FRCOG
22, Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8BE. Tel/fax:
0121 449 8895
I am sorry to write to you again so soon after my last
letter, which concerned the passing away of my wife Janet in
December of last year with inevitable detriment to my
service to you following that sad event.
I fear another problem has emerged which will have serious
impact on the provision of service. A new body was formed in
2002 called the National Care Standards Commission (England)
who have a role to monitor private practice and ensure
minimum standards of care. I had a discussion in November
with this body and it appeared that it would not be
necessary for me to register with the NCSC but I received
notification that, following a complaint, it would now be
necessary for me to register and that I must cease private
provision of medical services forthwith; I should say that I
have no knowledge of the complainant or the nature of the
complaint and I myself have not received a complaint from a
I have since written to the NCSC to seek specific guidance
on whether I may provide advice on the telephone, issue
prescriptions and provide follow up care of the patients who
are awaiting follow up appointments and hopefully I will
receive a positive and favourable response; I have to say
that the difficulty is that the Medical Protection Society
have advanced the view that I should operate within the
closure order and thus the prospect of prosecution by the
NCSC accompanied by there being no insurance by the Medical
Protection Society clearly prohibits any possibility of my
pursuing private practice until I achieve practice
I am therefore taking the following steps to try to
alleviate this difficulty. Helen and I are working full out
to obtain this registration which I hope will be resolved by
the beginning of May and indeed the NCSC have offered to
inspect my premises on 20th April which is in short order
for this we are clearly grateful to this body. The second
aspect is to utilise your family practitioner for interim
advice and your prescriptions and if it is helpful I can
telephone or write to the family practitioner and explain
the situation and hopefully he/she will provide an interim
prescription prior to resumption of my medical services.
Finally I do ask for your indulgence and apologise that this
is the second time within a few months that I have had to
ask for your forbearance and I would like to thank you for
your courtesy during the last difficulty in provision of
ongoing service to you. I will let you know as soon as my
registration is complete or if I have any interim
information on any flexibility in provision of service to
you by this National Care Standards Commission.
Message from Lyn Mynott:
It seems that the NCSC can decide on a whim whether or
not a doctor needs to be registered with them and have the
same powers as the GMC in that they can turn up on the
doorstep and close a doctor's clinic down. It seems that
they do not think one jot about the patients that will be
affected, and believe me, in Dr Skinner's case there are
hundreds of them.
The person who complained probably has no idea of the misery
that has been inflicted on all of Dr Skinner's patients, and
I sincerely hope it wasn't a member of Thyroid UK.
For those of you who are really stuck because your GP's
won't help, search on line under "on-line pharmacies" and
I'm sure you will find somewhere to get your meds. We don't
usually recommend this action, but sometimes when you are
pushed into a corner, you have to fight dirty to get out
Once again, it seems that telephoning and writing to a body
to complain about their behaviour is on the cards. I give
below the contact details and the website so that you can
read up on the remit of this organisation, and contact them
if you so wish.
I can feel a letter to the media coming on! With all the
fiasco of the brain surgeon being suspended over a bowl of
soup, now is just the right time to contact the papers with
this situation - it might just save another doctor being put
into this predicament.