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Psychiatrist vilified by UK newspapers is cleared of all charges

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1893 (Published 03 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1893
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A psychiatrist who was accused in the tabloid press of wrongly diagnosing mental illness in mothers so that social services could take their babies away has been cleared of all charges by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

George Hibbert, dubbed “the doctor who broke up families” in a front page story by the Daily Mail, ran Tadpole Cottage, a private centre in Wiltshire where mothers were sent with their babies for assessment of their parenting abilities.

In a case that echoed that of the child protection paediatrician David Southall, the newspaper took up the cases of mothers whose babies had been taken into care through the courts on Hibbert’s recommendation. The Daily Telegraph also ran similar stories.

The case took five and a …

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