Dr Skinner's IOP hearing last friday

My partner and i had an extremely interesting trip up to Manchester this past friday to be at Dr S's IOP. We set off at 6pm on thursday from Glos and arrived around 10pm at a carpark 0.2 miles from St James Building (according to the AA car park app!) At £8.50 for 24 hrs, a bargain in our opinion. (Camping sites can charge up to £30 a night!) A very friendly attendant seemed a little surprised we should be in the middle of the city with our huge hymer! He assured us it was fine to stay there and would be checking the car park every 2 hours. After a cuppa tea we ventured out to locate St James building and to walk off the lemon cake we had just consumed. We never did find St James building as we had confused Oxford Street with Oxford Road, well google maps had and that is my excuse and i am sticking to it!

After a restful nights sleep (actually I had my usual insomnia but my partner slept well, bless him) we awoke to the morning drone of the city. After more lemon cake, ( i had forgot to pack breakfast cereal!) we asked another friendly local where we might find St James Building and he pointed us in the right direction just a few yards away!!!

As I am claustrophobic in lifts a bemused attendant directed us towards the plastic/marble stairway, along a corridor and then up many flights of stairs which eventually led us to the 7th floor. The views over the city made us feel like holiday makers and gave us welcome respite to take photos while fighting exhaustion climbing the heights.

We eventually emerged on the 7th floor with less clothing on than when we set off. On the 7th floor at reception we were instructed to fill out a label and told to attach it to ourselves, (which i succeeded in losing sometime between morning coffee break and lunch!) we were then ushered into a waiting room. I am sure waiting rooms are designed to make you not want to wait. Especially as the GMC has told me over the phone this hearing was not open to the public! (another complaint going in to them for telling me porkies!)

After oxygen depletion from climbing mount St James, my memory of exact events is unclear as to why we were then all sent back down to Floor 4 to yet another waiting room equally uninviting. However wait is what we did in bucketfuls that day. Waiting is a skill and I think it should be taught at school "the art of waiting" and how to endure it.. A degree was also needed on how to work the drinks machine but once sussed enabled the user to feel useful in instructing other poor souls in how it dispensed drinks.

Sometime later we were ushered into another room where chairs were in short supply, staff begged borrowed and stole more until around 20 of us sat quashed in, to listen to a "learn-ed person" who had a sore throat. To be honest I cannot regurgitate what he said, partly due to my dislexiic disposition but i always try to remember key points and differentiate important stuff from the boring stuff. However I felt very uneasy about the man sitting in the biggest chair at the end of the table grinning like a cheshire cat! I found it disconcerting to say the least, I know I am not the brightest button in the box but all I could think was, why is this man grinning so much? Does he know something we don't?

So as the morning progressed I came to an ongoing conclusion, what the hell is going on? As far as I could ascertain Dr S has done nothing wrong, never has done and no evidence he had done anything wrong, well none that I heard.

Even after the "learn-ed" person with the sore throat outlined the GMC guidelines "Unless a Dr had caused serious problems for patients etc etc they could not impose conditions on a Dr." .........Well, i thought, Dr S has not caused any problems for any one so obviously they will lift these in my opinion unreasonable conditions, and i could not understand why had they imposed conditions on him in the first place especially with the lack of any concrete evidence! None of it made sense!

In my youth I have experienced being on the wrong end of the law with driving offences on my first motorbike. In the 70s I did not like wearing a helmet as i was a rebel but I was picked on and had 52 driving offences in one court case! I did no harm to others but because I did not tow the line the book was thrown at me so to speak. I was also caught with a little wacky baccy in my pocket! (enough for one spliff!) Off to court again! Another waste of tax payers money. I also had a probation officer make sexual advances towards me and I was even sent to Holloway prison for TDA Taking and Driving Away, accept it was my motorbike I had taken and driven away! The police had impounded it and I took it back! another waste of tax payers money! I was picked on cos I was a rebel and a Doctors daughter and the powers to be were bored in my local sea side town and persecuted me, bullied me and wanted to teach me a lesson! Their worst form of abuse to me was arrest me and send me for a stomach pump saying i had overdosed! Seriously I kid you not ..11 stomach pumps later I conceded!

You will be glad to hear my wonderful solicitor sued the police and we won and i was awarded a monetary amount but it was the fact I proved their terrible abuse.

I guess what I am trying to say is the system can be very wrong and I have in my youth been at the receiving end of wrongness and what I saw on Friday was Dr S being on the receiving end of wrongness directed towards him.

So i think dear people you can perhaps see from my past experiences what I thought of this farce, sorry, hearing! and witnessing a stitch up in my opinion!

The only winners on friday were the learned person and the paid people at Dr S's hearing. I can honestly say from the cheshire cats grin" the powers to be" were not going to lift the conditions on Dr S. And i believe they had no intentions to, which beggars the question why oh why and what was that farce about? Dr S's council was very good but the "powers to be" obviously did not listen! which i found insulting cos they got paid alot to listen.

Anyway after Dr S's council had delivered his speech the cheshire cat wanted 2 hours for lunch sorry, 2 hours to make a decision!!!!! I think I am in the wrong job, oh wait, i haven't got a job! I lost it due to hypothyroidism!!

So after 2 hours of lunching the cheshire cat obviously was still hungry and needed another 2 hours!

At 4pm after we all passed our degree in "The art of Waiting" and mastered the drinks machine. We listened to their decision. Surprise surprise They were not going to lift any of his conditions imposed on Dr S which included supervision!

Conclusion: What a load of Bo...,ks!!! Alot of people made a great deal of money doing very little apart from Dr S's advisors and council. And in my opinion the GMC are determined to make Dr S's working conditions as hard as possible and it was nothing less than bully boy tactics from the GMC. Disgusting. Shame on them.

However it was absolutely fabulous to meet so many interesting people who had been to hell and back and who had then met Dr S who was their saviour because he was and is how Drs should be, he listens to patients and acts accordingly. Bless you Dr S you are truely wonderful. Like my GP father (RIP) who also listened to his patients always.

It was a super day meeting all you lovely people and hopefully Dr S knows how much we all care about him and without his caring and compassion so many would still be so ill.

So please people if you can, please come and support Dr S again in May 2013 when the GMC go through this farce yet again! Come and witness this surreal experience and meet some wonderful people in the process.


43 Replies

  • Great write up, I can just imagine those smug regulators! Good on you. Mary F x

  • ps: All those who rang and were told it was not open to the public - from a friend of mine at the sharp end who knows our rights fully:

    'What a lie - the GMC is open to the public by default. They were lied to. They ought t go and write this fib to the Health Select Committee.'

    What a good idea!

  • Where do we write to, to complain about the lies? and who are the Health Select Committee? Excuse my ignorance!

  • Hi there, brief summary of purpose: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healt... and

    current membership of Health Select Committee: parliament.uk/business/comm...

    Mary F

  • Disgraceful. I hope they are very embarrassed by their ridiculous behaviour.

  • Well done, hypermad, you are most admirable - would that I could have such patience! I am fuming just reading that, I absolutely detest injustice and furious that tax payers money is wasted in this manner and against someone who so obviously cares about his patients.

    Having worked in various government offices during my lifetime I have an abhorrence to all things government, where the top dogs are greedy and lazy and the little people do all the hard work for little remuneration.

    You are absolutely right they are just cowardly bullies and what a shame that the EU cannot be used to take them to task (make themselves useful for once, but they are probably cut from the same cloth).

  • Forgot to mention i phoned the GMC prior to attending and they informed me the hearing was not open to the public! So they tell porkies too! Others there had been misled when they also phoned to say they were attending too. It would seem the GMC were not keen to have people witness the hearing and after attending I am not surprised.

    I do not agree with injustice and bullying in any form at all and my heart went out to Dr S. He is a good and decent man who does not deserve this at all. It makes my blood boil but I know from my experiences in the 70s how insane the system can be. Hence my keeness to attend and I was fortunate enough to have the time and means to go. However I wish at the next hearing there were hundreds of people there because it would make more of an impact! Sadly the nature of thyroid illness can be severe and many people who would love to attend are unable to for various reasons.

  • hypo moment, had mentioned phone call to GMC!

  • Lets all remember to sign this... as this doctor has the same treatment for doing the right thing: change.org/en-GB/petitions/...

    Mary F x

  • I sign up to all these petitions, but they do seem to repeat the same topics....or is that my imagination?

  • I do put them on regularly, anything which represents thyroid issues, which might help us all and also the whistleblowing one... as... unless I keep posting them, the signatures will not go up...it is great when people sign them, and even greater when people pass them on via email and facebook. Thanks x

  • Thank you Mary, have signed and shared on facebook so my friends can sign too. x

  • Great they need a regular rev up... the DOH would love that paper on whistleblowing to disappear.. which is wrong. Mary F

  • thank you hymermad for being there and for reporting back to us.

    Sadly I knew it all, I hear these things 'all the time' :(

  • Think next time I will do a trip to Manchester and support the man.

  • That would be lovely if you could Chillyfeet. I really think numbers count and even if the powers to be can't count Dr S will feel even more supported for the work he does.

  • That's a great report! Thank you so much. Talk about gross injustice all the time towards Dr Skinner.This whole business seems very sinister to me.Why on earth should the medical establishment want to work so hard to repress a man who is helping so many people?

  • Thank you JanJan, yes gross injustice. Why on earth indeed? I think a combination of factors, money, power and Drs in bed with the pharmacutical companies!

  • Yes, they wouldn't want the NHS to fork out on medicines that actually made us well! But this utter denial of listening to what the patients are saying so loud and clear is shocking.I wonder if people with other diseases have to fight so hard for their rights?

  • Do you wonder if the GMC members and staff use the NHS. Read this


  • I doubt it shaws, they probably all go private! Interesting article!

  • So they don't have faith in the system THEY are running/overseeing? Maybe they should put more effort into changing things for the better then. Humph.

  • It is great both of you were able to go. Considering Dr S is past retirement age, does he really want all the aggravation? He does it because we have very few options to get well and he knows how many of us have unnecessary ill-health because of the blood test alone for diagnosis.

    How can the GMC ignore all the thousands of testimonial letters sent in support of Dr S.

  • It was an honor to support him because like you I realize he only puts up with this aggravation because he cares about patients being shortchanged by the NHS. At around 70 years old he really should be enjoying himself and not being abused by the GMC and the system. it is an injustice and that is why my partner and I went and will do again in may 2013.

  • He's such a gem. I can't believe he's still doing this. There's a big space in my heart for that man :-)

  • This link shows the injustice of the GMC


  • Very interesting, thank you. Cushy boys club indeed who protect the dangerous Drs and get rid of innocent Drs.!

  • Thank you for sharing your experience, how entertaining your writing is too!

    You should write a book! it sounds like you had some fun/interesting times as a youngster!

    My friend Monica goes to the meetings - did you meet her?



  • sadly no, did not meet Monica, spoke with many but not her. Thank you for your kind comments.

  • I suspect the GMC saying the IOP is private is down to incompetence rather than malice. Their rules are complicated and absurd, especially IOPs, e.g. the meeting does not determine fact - what's the point?

    I'm speculating here, but the GMC aren't sure why they think the IOP is not public and they usually do not put any IOPs on the online diary, although there is an option. Here's my explanation.

    IOPs are private but once the IOP has started the doctor can request it to be made public and then the public are brought in. That's why we don't walk in with doctor and the legal teams. So, I guess it doesn't appear on the GMC diary because it is private until it has started (still with me?). Since most IOPs are held in private the GMC staff think everyone is private, especially if it isn't shown on the diary and when asked the GMC invariably do not know why it isn't showing on the diary!

    So, the important bit, all of Dr Skinner's hearings are public, regardless of what the GMC thinks, so just come along. If you're not sure of the date or anything just ask Afshan or Dr Skinner.

  • Thank you for explaining

  • Thank you so much for writing this hymermad. I can't believe that guy was grinning like a cheshire cat. That just confirms it's all a set up really doesn't it. This whole thing just stinks. I wonder, if hundreds of patients turned up, and more will I hope the longer these go on, then everyone will squash into the room until there's no more space and then they will have to move it to a much larger venue then people will HAVE to take notice. This is not normal!!! I'm sure no other doc has his patients turn up in support at their IOPs!!!

  • You have made a very valid point DiamondFire about probably no other Dr has patients turn up to their IOPs. Only Dr S and Dr Myhill and others who successfully treat people with thyroid problems, I really do hope more come to Dr S;s IOP again in May 2013.but very hard for people working and people who have lost their jobs or are just too ill, but hopefully patients who have better health through Dr S;s intervention maybe could come..

  • Hymermad, I loved your report and it's a massive shame that the news you had to give us about Dr S was so disappointing. I'm afraid I'm a new member of Thyroid UK and I don't know what they were accusing him of. Can you tell me? From a fellow motorcyclist and lift phobic!

  • Hi

    Please see reply below...


    xx :-)

  • Hello Confused77, i will try and explain! because people choose to go with him privately as their Gps keep them ill this has apparently upset some GPs who have then put in a complaint about Dr S even though the patient hasn't! No patient has ever complained about Dr S. And this is where I cannot quite understand what is going on! They have imposed restrictions on him but why they do not deal with the original accusation ie prove or disprove I cannot understand! From my studies in Law "a person is innocent until proved guilty" well that premise seems to have gone out the window as far as the GMC are concerned. All Dr S's patients are more than happy with him and there was hundreds of letters confirming this. In the hearing the evidence against Dr S was non evidence in my opinion, just one GP who had his nose put out cos his patient had gone to Dr S and had a history of heart disease and the Gp had tried to accuse Dr S of prescribing 200mcg of levo even though she had been on 175mcg from leaving hospital after a heart problem. But i can't understand why every 6 months Dr S has to keep going up infront of the GMC for an IOP. Hope someone can enlighten me!

    Do you still have a motorbike? I have an identical one from my youth!! A Suzuki RV 125 and a modern day version VV (van van) 125 with electric start!! My partner has a Harley 1340 which in the past have ridden. Sadly i have only done 60 miles on the van van from new 2 years ago!!!!!!! I like small bikes cos I am small plus I can fit it into my motorhome garage.

    By the way welcome to Thyroid UK HealthUnblocked, hope you find it as helpful and friendly as I have. It has been a life saver and people on here are do helpful kind and funny. Now I don't feel alone and slowely am learning about hypothyroidism which is what I have. Hope you find the answers you are looking for too.

  • Thanks for explaining what has been happening to Dr S. Is he still allowed to practice medicine in between the 6 monthly hearings? It must be awful for him. It seems so unjust and its probably also putting off other Drs from doing what they think is best for their patients.

    Thanks too for the welcome. I'm so very glad I found this group, everyone has been so helpful. My husband collects/rebuilds classic British bikes and for the past few years I've been riding an 1949 Ariel Square 4 1000CC but because of all the problems I've been having with my Hashimotos etc he's now building me a smaller, lighter bike. I'd hate to have to give up riding due to this wretched thyroid!

  • Yes he is allowed to practice but on a previous hearing he had conditions imposed on him, ie must report to an Encologist every 2 weeks. and he found an Encologest, but 100s of ENdocrinologists would not touch him with a barge-pole(as you can imagine!) for the moment can't remember what else but the lucky thing for his patients is he can continue practising. Just so mean to him and so wrong.

    Wow Those are old bikes! My partner is rebuilding a BSA 1959(I think but could be outrageously wrong!!!)

    Yes having this nuisance thyroid issues that can be better managed only if only all medical people realised and allowed these conditions to be managed so much better so that we had the strengh to do things again such as ride our bikes easier! Got a bit dangerous dropping my bike!!

  • Sorry about spellings, dislexic and hypo today!

  • No worries, anyway it's what you say not whether you spell it right that's important!

  • I stand corrected it is an BSA 650 thunderbolt 1969.

  • Great reply...

    Just a pointer. If you want to reply to someone directly, you have to click on 'reply to this', otherwise they will not get an email telling them that you have responded.


    xx :-)

  • OK thank you, i should have remembered!!! Insomnia last night so brain fogged today!! Will try and copy and paste! COuld be a challenge today.

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