The ME Association’s paediatric medical adviser Dr Nigel Speight had conditions attached to his licence to practice by a panel of the General Medical Council on Wednesday (April 20). The conditions have been published today (see image below).
The GMC has not published the reasons for this decision.
MEA MEDICAL ADVISER DR CHARLES SHEPHERD COMMENTS:
I have been in regular contact with my friend and colleague Dr Nigel Speight before, during and after the hearing to offer my full and continuing support.
I have provided the General Medical Council with a detailed letter of support from The ME Association in relation to every aspect of his work involving children and adolescents with ME/CFS.
I have also co-ordinated a joint letter of support from ME/CFS charities, professional colleagues and parents of children with ME/CFS in the UK and from abroad.
I don’t want to do or say anything more at this point because MEA trustees will be meeting on Monday next week (April 25th).
Dr Speight is also our honorary medical adviser and we will be issuing a proper statement next week.
DR SPEIGHT CIRCULATED THIS LETTER ON FRIDAY, APRIL 22:
I am sorry to have to tell you of the result of my hearing before an Interim Orders Tribunal of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service on 20 April 2016. Most of you will be familiar with the sequence of events that led up to this case and the current GMC investigation.
At the hearing, my barrister offered that I should voluntarily withdraw from all ME related activity pending further investigation by the GMC. The panel did not accept this offer, but have imposed interim conditions on my registration mirroring the voluntary restrictions I had offered for a period 15 months. The conditions prevent me from carrying out any work in relation to ME in either a paid or unpaid capacity.
The IOT Panel concluded that my practice in the field of ME/CFS may be deficient, and that it was necessary to impose an interim order for the protection of members of the public and to maintain public confidence.
On the positive side, apart from these conditions, the IOT has not restricted my practice in paediatrics in general. The IOT has not made any findings of fact and the order will be reviewed after 6 months. The IOT is not the forum in which to challenge the substance of the complaint made to the GMC.
To those of you who represent charities, I am afraid that I must with immediate effect withdraw my services as a medical/paediatric adviser. I wish you luck in finding someone to fill the gap. I will direct all patients and families with whom I have had prior contact back to your charity for advice.
Please also understand that these restrictions even extend to preventing me speaking or lecturing on the subject of ME.
To my fellow members of the authoring committee of the International Consensus report on paediatric ME/CFS, I am afraid I also have to withdraw from future contributions.
To my friends in Norway and Germany, I am afraid this means that I am unable to continue to support the three families I have already met, either informally or in legal proceedings.
Thanks for very much for all your support. Wish me luck
Best Wishes to you all in your continuing struggles to support patients and families