Ban on slimming doctor must stay
HIGH COURT HEARING: Judge refuses to overturn GMC ruling on clinic director
A SLIMMING doctor struck off for professional misconduct has failed in a High Court bid to resurrect his career.
Michael John Sheill had been a GP for 23 years and was the medical director of four private clinics, including the Wells Clinic in Ashford, when his name was ordered to be erased from the medical register in August last year.
After a 16-day hearing, a Fitness to Practice Panel of the General Medical Council (GMC) ruled he was guilty of misconduct in regard to his treatment of four patients, and his dealings with the Healthcare Commission and the Interim Orders Panel (IOP) of the GMC.
Mr Justice Foskett, sitting in London, quashed two findings of dishonesty made against Mr Sheill last week.
But the judge declined to impose a one-year suspension on Mr Sheill instead of erasure, as had been argued by his barrister, John McDonald QC.
The judge said although Mr Sheill had been cleared
Michael Sheill – described as “rude and abusive to patients” of dishonesty, he had still shown “persistent disregard” for the requirements of the Healthcare Commission and the IOP.
He added that he had also been “rude, abusive and unprofessional” towards patients and representatives of the Healthcare Commission, and had shown a “lack of insight into the seriousness of his actions and their conse- quences”. The court heard that Mr Sheill described himself as having special interests in occupational health and cosmetic dermatology, with his stock in trade encompassing Botox, dermal fillers and other cosmetic treatments.
He and other doctors engaged at the clinics of which he was a director also prescribed drugs to patients designed to induce weight loss.
Mr Justice Foskett said the Healthcare Commission first became involved with Mr Sheill in September 2002, and following an inspection of his clinic in Tunbridge Wells in November 2003, concerns were raised about his practice management and the handling and storage of medicines and record keeping.
By 2004 he had agreed to stop prescribing weight loss tablets, said the judge, but continued to do so.
At the GMC misconduct hearing in August 2007, it was found Mr Sheill had shown a blatant disregard for instructions and requirements of regulatory bodies; shown dis-
www. regard for information held within relevant guidelines, and concerns expressed by professionals; inappropriately prescribed and stored medicines; failed to provide necessary information to patients about their treatment, properly examine and assess their condition and obtain informed consent and been rude and abusive to patients.
He was also found to have been dishonest or misleading to two patients, but Mr Justice Foskett quashed the two findings of dishonesty.
To that extent he allowed Mr Sheill’s appeal, but dismissed his grounds of challenge to his erasure from the medical register.
Mr Sheill, who was refused permission to appeal against the judge’s ruling, was ordered to pay £8,000 towards the GMC’s legal costs.
On top of that he also faces having to pay his own legal team’s fees.