UK psychiatrist under investigation for falsely diagnosing parents with mental disorders; attempted to surrender license to avoid investigation but board said no

March 22, 2012

A psychiatrist from Blunsdon faces claims he deliberately misdiagnosed parents with mental disorders decisions which meant their children were taken away from them.

Dr George Hibbert faces being struck off over his conclusions that hundreds of parents had personality disorders after assessing them at his private family centre.

He was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by social services for the reports, which tore children from their parents – many of them young mothers.

He is now being investigated over suggestions he distorted the assessments to fit the view of social services.

In one case, he is alleged to have wrongly diagnosed a caring new mother – named only as Miss A – with bipolar disorder because her local authority wanted the baby adopted.

After being confronted, Dr Hibbert, 59, offered to surrender his licence to practise as a doctor at his busi- ness Assessment in Care, rather than face a General Medical Council inquiry.

But his request has been rejected by the GMC which says there are still ‘unresolved concerns regarding his fitness to practise’.

He will now face a full fitness to practise hearing.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, has raised concerns about Dr Hibbert in Parliament, and has written to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke demanding a full parliamentary inquiry.

Earlier this week, a study for the Family Justice Council revealed how life-changing decisions about the care of children are routinely being made on the basis of flawed evidence. A fifth of ‘experts’ are unqualified.

Dr Hibbert charged local authorities £6,000 ($9,500) a week for every family in his care and £210 ($330) an hour just to read documents such as medical records.

By 2007 his company, was making a profit of around £460,000 ($727,000) a year from his lucrative arrangement with social services. He is now worth more than £2.7m ($4.2 million).

A GMC investigations officer confirmed Dr Hibbert ‘has now applied for voluntary erasure from the medical register’.

The letter continued: “He has no intention of returning to clinical practice.”

A spokesman for Dr Hibbert at the Medical Protection Society said professional confidentiality meant Dr Hibbert was ‘unable to comment on allegations raised in relation to care of a patient’.

Source: Katie Bond, "Parents’ anger at shrink's 'false' diagnosis,", March 21, 2012.


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