Medical professional from Romford raised alarm about doctor
PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 October 2010
A SENIOR clinical scientist at Queen’s Hospital in Romford helped raise the alarm about a doctor offering alternative treatments with “no clinical basis” who was suspended today.
Stuart Jones raised concerns about advice on Dr Sarah Myhill’s website, which he said could have “seriously misled” the public.
Dr Myhill, 52, who has a private practice in Powys, Wales, had claimed she was a “pioneer” in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.
But a General Medical Council panel has imposed a year long interim ban while it investigates her claims and stated Myhill “may pose a real risk to patients”.
The doctor was told: “There are repeated and significant concerns raised by former patients, medical practitioners and other members of the public.”
Conditions were added to Myhill’s registration in April this year, including a ban on prescribing medicine and an order to remove controversial advice on her website.
It came after a group of GPs based in Yorkshire health practice claimed she had provided “inappropriate” treatment to a patient in June 2009.
Myhill recommended vitamin and magnesium injections for suspected chronic fatigue syndrome, a treatment an expert said had “no clinical or biochemical basis”.
Mr Jones’ concerns related to advice on the doctor’s website concerning breast cancer screening and child vaccinations.
The website discouraged women from using the oral contraceptive pill, recommended an alternative method of breast cancer screening and restated the link between the MMR jab and autism, which has now been discredited.
Mr Jones’ letter said: “The public have been seriously misled by her advice.
“In some cases I think her recommendations are a serious risk to patient safety.”
Myhill attempted to challenge the interim conditions at the review hearing, which was held in public at her request.
It was attended by around a dozen of her supporters, as well as three security guards.
The hearing heard further complaints had been received by the GMC since the interim order was imposed in April.
They included suggesting that Myhill had attempted to exploit a loophole in a requirement she take down information on her website by posting a link to an “ungagged” version of the site.
One complainant wrote: “This doctor had created a new website and I think she may be attempting to get around the conditions of registration.”
There were also claims she had directed patients to a website based in the South Pacific where they could buy prescription medicine that she was no longer allowed to issue.
Myhill had said she could not be held responsible if other people had chosen to copy her website.
Panel chair Dr Peter Maguire told the self-styled chronic fatigue expert: “The circumstances which bring patients to your practice by their very nature make your patients vulnerable, notwithstanding any actual health issues.”
He said: “The panel is satisfied that, based on the complaints made, and the concerns raised, there is sufficient information before it to indicate that there may be impairment of your fitness to practise and that such impairment may pose a real risk to patients.”
“The panel has been extremely concerned by your possible lack of understanding of the requirements of modern day best practise, as well as a seeming lack of perception and understanding of the consequences of your actions.”
Myhill is now banned from practising as a doctor for the year of the interim order, which will be reviewed within three months.