Intended for healthcare professionals


Child abuse experts “astonished” that convicted doctors’ critic is in guidance group

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 14 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3788
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    A row has blown up over the UK General Medical Council’s decision to appoint the campaigner and parents’ advocate Penny Mellor to the expert group it has set up to produce new guidance for paediatricians working in child protection.

    The GMC, the regulator of doctors in the United Kingdom, announced that it was establishing the group on the day the paediatrician David Southall won his appeal in May against a GMC finding that he had accused a mother of murdering her son and a ruling striking him off the medical register (BMJ 2010;340:c2448, 4 May, doi:10.1136/bmj.c2448).

    Mrs Mellor has admitted playing a part in about 30 complaints against Dr Southall, an expert on fabricated or induced illness, formerly known as Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy. She told the BMJ that she had been involved in about 50 complaints to the GMC accusing doctors of misconduct, some of them multiple complaints against the same doctor.

    A draft open letter from the steering group of Professionals Against Child Abuse (PACA) to the GMC’s chairman, Peter Rubin, says that PACA is “astonished” by the appointment and calls Mrs Mellor’s involvement “an affront to paediatricians and other professionals involved in child …

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