Ban on slim­ming doc­tor must stay

HIGH COURT HEAR­ING: Judge re­fuses to over­turn GMC rul­ing on clinic di­rec­tor

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

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.

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