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IMPORTANT - Dr Skinner Needs Support!

Dr Skinner has a Fitness to Practice Hearing in July 2007 and he needs your support.

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 College Street,
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 FRCOG
22, Alcester Road
B13 8BE
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 at risk.

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 Council (GMC).

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.


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 detriment.

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 to me.

Yours sincerely,

Gordon RB Skinner MD DSc FRCPath FRCOG


No 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. 

We 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 terms to:

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 8BE

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!

Dear All,

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 normal life.

I would appreciate it if you would circulate this to your hypothyroid list.

This will be important for the October Meeting.

Thank you

Best Wishes

My address is set out below: -

Diana Holmes
Swallow Lodge
221d Crateford Lane
ST19 5PZ



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 athompson@gmc-uk.org 

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 go along.”

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: athompson@gmc-uk.org) 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 following:
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, B13 8BE 
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 writing.

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 01245-263037


Report on IOP Review of Dr Gordon Skinner –
General Medical Council - 15th June 2006 - 10.30am (supposedly!)

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 not have.

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 campaign).

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 they deliberated.

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 this.

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

June 2005

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.
  • Not 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.
  • A 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 Development!
  • Treating a patient without a referral letter from her GP – was he supposed to send her home after she had travelled so far?

There were two other complaints via an endocrinologist’s who wrote that he had not talked about his complaint to his patients – I wonder why??

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 practitioner.
(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 all this?)

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.
(Purely administrative)

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 patients.
(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 application.
(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 of charges.)

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 enquiries@thyroiduk.org

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 patient.

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 registration.

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 again!

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.


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