Intended for healthcare professionals


Southall defends keeping private case files for child protection work

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 30 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1142
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1London

The paediatrician David Southall this week defended his practice of keeping “special case files” separately from patients' medical records, at a General Medical Council hearing in London. Professor Southall is facing the GMC's fitness to practise committee, accused of serious professional misconduct.

He is accused of “keeping what amounted to secret medical records” on four children in his care and of failing to respect the privacy and dignity of their mothers.

Earlier this month a woman named only as Mrs M testified that Professor Southall accused her of murdering her son, who was found hanging in his bedroom (BMJ 2006;333:1036). An inquest into the child's death ended in an open verdict.

As Professor Southall opened his defence, he argued that the “special case files” contained documents relating to …

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