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Struck-off paediatrician hits out at system


7 December, 2007  

A hospital paediatrician who was struck off the medical register for wrongly accusing a mother of murdering her son has hit out at the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC).

Professor David Southall said there are “serious flaws” in the GMC system after he was found guilty of serious misconduct for suggesting to the mother of a 10-year-old boy who hanged himself that she had drugged him and strung him up.

He claims that panel members lack the necessary expertise to judge cases involving child abuse.

He said: “They have had no training in child protection before they are discussing such serious issues with doctors.

“I think this is where the problem is. It’s not doctors against doctors. It’s the fact that the regulatory body has not had sufficient training or understanding of the child protection process.”

Dr Southall worked as a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Brompton Hospital in west London from 1982, and held the same post at North Staffordshire Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent in 1992.

He is now considering whether to appeal against the GMC ruling, adding: “I hope I will not have to give up medicine completely.”

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