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Dr Gordon Skinner
and the GMC

Gordon Skinner was born in Glasgow in 1942 and attended Kelvinside Academy Grammar School where he was duxproxima accessit. Dr Skinner is widowed with a daughter Fiona and two sons Niall and David; his wife Janet was a school teacher who sadly passed away in December 2003.
Dr Gordon Skinner
He graduated in Medicine at the University of Glasgow in 1965 and following house jobs in Glasgow and Midlands of England specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and later in Virology and in 1976 became Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at the University of Birmingham with Consultant status at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Dr Skinner's research portfolio for which he was awarded the prestigious Doctorate of Science by the University of Birmingham can be found in his CV.

His research has also extended to the clinical arena. Some fifteen years ago he was asked by colleagues to see patients who were considered to have myalgic encephalopathy or chronic fatigue syndrome or post viral syndrome or post viral fatigue on account of his interest in virus disease. He noted that a number of these patients had clinical features of hypothyroidism but had 'normal' levels of thyroid hormones which would lead most workers in the field to reject a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Dr Skinner has since treated and returned to health many patients who were clinically hypothyroid but had normal thyroid chemistry and has reported these results in a preliminary paper entitled 'Clinical response to thyroxine sodium in clinically hypothyroid but biochemically euthyroid patients'. He is disappointed that many doctors have little enthusiasm or will to examine this critical shortfall in patient care which in part motivated his book "Diagnosis and Management of Hypothyroidism".

Dr G R B Skinner
22 Alcester Road
Birmingham
B13 8BE
0121 449 8895

World Thyroid Register
Dr Gordon Skinner is concerned about firstly, patients who are hypothyroid but who are not diagnosed, and secondly, patients who are being managed with an inadequate level of thyroid replacement.

The World Thyroid Register has been launched, to record contact details for anyone who is in support of the cause. People who register may be asked to help raise funds in the future, if action is necessary that requires funding.

The target number of signatures is 50,000. Anyone can sign the register, so please tell your friends, family, colleagues etc.

To read more, and to add your name to the register, go to
www.worldthyroidregister.com

Dr Skinner attended the IOP on 24th May 2012

In the determination, the Panel stated that Dr Skinner was to have conditions imposed on him.

One of the main conditions was that he was to be supervised by a named Consultant Endocrinologist.
Thyroid UK is very interested to see how this can be achieved and what the outcome would be!

To download a PDF copy of the transcript of the IOP, which includes the determination, click here

 

11/05/2012

Dr Skinner and the GMC -Again!

Unbelievably, Dr Skinner is to go before the GMC again - one of the cases from the last IOP.

The IOP Hearing will be on the 24th May 2012 at the General Medical Council, 7th Floor, St James's Buildings, 79 Oxford Street Manchester, M1 6FQ.

Although many of you sent testimonials for Dr. Skinner before, these can't be used for this hearing, so it would be really helpful if everyone could write letters of support for Dr Skinner to:

IOP Panel,
c/o Mrs Elisa Summerfield,
General Medical Council,
3 Hardman Street,
Manchester M3 3AW.
Email esummerfield@gmc-uk.org

Please also send a copy to Dr Skinner at 22 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8BE or to afshan@vri.org.uk

The case number for IOP on the 24th May is ES/C1-462487326.

The Hearing is public, so anyone can attend. And Afshan has confirmed that it will be helpful if people do go!

22/02/2012

Dr G Skinner – IOP Update 22.02.12

Dear All,

I am writing to let you know what happened at the GMC regarding Dr Skinner's IOP this morning.

Basically there are 5 complaints from 5 GPs where each of the patients has written to the GMC to say that they do not agree with the GP's complaint and that they are happy with Dr Skinner's care. The Interim Order Panel was called to consider whether Dr Skinner should be suspended or have return of conditions due to these complaints.

The GMC and Dr Skinner's defence teams made their arguments and as a result the Panel felt there was not enough evidence to stop or modify Dr Skinner's practice. They said that " in reaching its decision the Panel has determined that the information before it today is insufficient to indicate that Dr Skinner's fitness to practice may be impaired and that he may pose a real risk either to patients or the public interest".

This is good news but the 5 cases are going to continue being considered by the GMC in their normal procedure. So we will keep everyone informed.

Thank you so much everyone for your help and support. The GMC were flooded out with testimonials which impressed them and they were still receiving them this morning. THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

With kind regards and huge gratitude.

Afshan

Click here to download the IOP Determination in PDF format


17/02/2012

Dr Skinner has been asked to appear before an Interim Order Panel yet again.

The IOP will take place at 9.30am on Wednesday 22nd February at the GMC Offices at St James's Buildings, 79 Oxford Street,, Manchester, M1 6FQ. It would be extremely helpful if as many people as possible could attend.

Dr Skinner and his team have only three days to put together their defence having received the letter to attend only this morning.

It is unbelievable that the GMC are doing this again so soon after the last time.

The complaints are all from GPs for prescribing thyroxine when the patients had normal blood tests. All the patients have refused to comply with the GP's request to release their names and details and two have actually written to the GMC to say they are happy with Dr Skinner's treatment of them.

Something really must be done about this so please attend if you possibly can.

Letters of support via email are also needed.
Please Quote case no. C1-462487326 and send to:
IOPTeam@gmc-uk.org
with a copy to:
afshan@vri.org.uk

17/11/2011 - Dr Skinner Free to Practise Without Restriction!

Thyroid UK is very pleased to inform you that, despite the best efforts of the GMC's expert witness, Dr Thomas Akintewe, Consultant Diabetologist and Endocrinologist, Dr Skinner's Fitness to Practise Hearing on 17th November 2011 concluded with the Panel deciding his fitness to practise is no longer impaired and that, "Your conditions are revoked forthwith and you are now free to practise without restriction within the United Kingdom."

The Panel made particular reference to the fact that "neither party bears any burden of proof and that the Panel need only consider whether your current practice and beliefs still show disregard of your clinical responsibilities towards your patients and whether they demonstrate that you now have insight."

They also stated, "The Panel notes that the central issue in this case is the propriety of prescribing thyroxine to patients who are judged to exhibit symptoms and/or signs of hypothyroidism, but whose biochemical test results fall within a conventionally accepted reference range, which is generally interpreted as implying "normality".

It is not within the Panel's remit to pronounce on the correctness or otherwise of your approach other than by assuring itself that appropriate steps are being taken by you to ensure its safety.

However the Panel cannot fail to take notice of the fact that your approach to treatment, whereby both clinical and biochemical parameters are assessed, falls within the guidelines of 'Good Medical Practice'. In this respect your assessment of your patients does not differ from Dr Akintewe. The difference of approach lies in the weight given to the respective clinical and biochemical findings."

The most important statement (in respect of many of us who are on natural thyroid hormone) made by the Panel was, "The Panel is satisfied that the procedures you have in place to safeguard those patients referred to you are adequate. In reference to your prescription of the unlicensed drug Armour Thyroid, the Panel is content with your reasoning behind its prescription."

Thyroid UK hopes that this outcome and the comments made by the GMC panel will encourage some doctors to a) give a trial of levothyroxine to patients with subclinical hypothyroidism and b) prescribe natural thyroid hormone to patients who do not do well on levothyroxine.

What we need now is for some actual research on these topics and we are very happy to see that one such trial is about to start - Thyroid Hormone Replacement for Subclinical Hypothyroidism Trial (TRUST). More info at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/238100.php )

Thyroid UK would like to offer its congratulations to Dr Gordon Skinner on this wonderful outcome!

 

Click here to download a PDF of the full 'Determination on Impairment'

Click the links below to download PDFs of the transcripts for each day of the hearing.

Monday 14th November 2011

Tuesday 15th November 2011

Wednesday 16th November 2011

Thursday 17th November 2011

October 14th 2011 - Update

Dr Skinner writes:

I will be attending a further GMC hearing on 14-11-2011 to 19-11-2011 Manchester at the GMC premises. This hearing will examine my compliance with my conditions of registration which were set in November 2007. I have failthfully conformed to these conditions and I am now very hopeful that I will be reinstated to my full medical registration.

 

15/08/2011 - Update
Dr Skinner's Hearing will be over 5 days from Monday 14th to Friday 18th November in Manchester at the Oxford Street address which is same as before.

Dr Skinner's team would like as many people to go as possible. They are encouraging everyone to send in testimonials.

Although many of you sent testimonials for Dr. Skinner's 2007 FTP hearing, these won't be used for the review hearing, so please write again. Details as below.

 

29/07/2011 - Update

The GMC were pushing for an adjournment yesterday because their expert witness has been taken off the case because he was found to not be an unbiased witness. The GMC want time to find another expert witness.
They were told to be back at the GMC at 10.30 this morming.

If the Panel accept the adjournment, the GMC would be in breach of a recent High Court ruling concerning unreasonable deprivation of livelihood from unreasonable delay pursuant to administrative failings on the part of the GMC due to the extension beyond the given termination date of Dr Skinner's Conditions of November 2010.

 

29/06/2011

Dr Skinner is to go before the GMC again. The Hearing will be on the 28th, 29th July and 1st 2nd and 3rd August at the General Medical Council, 7th Floor, St James's Buildings, 79 Oxford Street Manchester, M1 6FQ. The Hearing is for the GMC to assess what to do now that Dr Skinner's 3 years of condition are finished. The conditions actually finished in November but the GMC have taken this long to assess this.

Dr Afshan Ahmad has told us, "What will happen at the hearing no one knows as the GMC have not been forthcoming. Please let people know that their support is extremely valuable and also Dr Skinner has asked for the hearing to be public and the GMC should accommodate everyone."

The Medical Protection Society need to obtain as many letters of support for Dr Skinner as possible. They also want as many patients as possible to appear as defense witnesses at the hearing.

If you are willing to be a witness for Dr Skinner, please contact:
Mr Ralph R. R. H Shipway, RadcliffefLeBrasseur, 5 Great College Street, Westminister, London SW1 P3SJ, Tel 0207 227 6709.

Please also let Dr Skinner know that you have offered to be a witness by contacting him at the clinic address:
22 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8BE
or by telephone: 0121-449-8895

For a map of the GMC in Manchester go to:

http://www.gmc-uk.org/about/contactus/manchester.asp

Please send letters of support for Dr Skinner to:

Heather Cook,
Investigation Officer,
Fitness to Practise Directorate,
General Medical Council,
3 Hardman Street,
Manchester,
M3 3AW

And send a copy to:

Afshan Ahmad PhD,
Director of Research and Development,
Vaccine Research International Plc,
22 Alcester Road,
Moseley,
Birmingham,
B13 8BE,
UK

And a copy to:

Mr Ralph Shipway,
5 Great College Street,
Westminster,
London,
SW1P 3SJ