Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Response

Open letter to Professor Peter Rubin, chair of the General Medical Council

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 21 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3884
  1. John M Bridson, retired paediatrician, and chair1,
  2. Martin Samuels, paediatrician, and member1,
  3. Nigel Speight, paediatrician, and member1,
  4. Catherine Williams, retired academic lawyer, and member1
  1. 1PACA (Professionals Against Child Abuse),

    You must know that the inclusion of Mrs Penny Mellor on the General Medical Council Expert Group on Child Protection,1 which has been set up in the wake of David Southall’s successful appeal, is an affront to paediatricians and other professionals involved in child protection work.

    On 9 May 2010 we wrote to you and Mr Dickson congratulating you on setting up an expert panel to review what is expected of doctors involved in child protection. We had stated: “We have long argued that child protection is an area of medicine made uniquely difficult because the parents of children [or their appointed advocates, that is, those who complain about doctors to the GMC] cannot be assumed always to be acting in the best interests of their child. It is difficult for lay [fitness to practise] panel members, or medical panel members who do not have personal experience of child protection work, to understand this professional environment.”

    We are astonished that you consider Mrs Mellor an …

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