The MPTS panel suspended Professor Stebbing for nine months, so he was unable to care for his 150 patients. The GMC had wanted more — it had pressed for him to be struck off completely.
And since they didn't get him, they went after....his witnesses.
And now the GMC has put Professor Sikora under threat of being struck off, too. He and another expert oncology witness who testified in Professor Stebbing’s defence have been served with notice from the GMC that they are now under investigation. The GMC will not tell them why.
‘Three months after the hearing had ended, I and the other defence expert received letters from the GMC saying our fitness to practise is under investigation,’ Professor Sikora told Good Health. ‘There’s been no hint of what we’d done wrong. They only sent 5,000 pages of transcript from Professor Stebbing’s disciplinary hearing.’
The GMC has a long and rather less than illustrious history but this seems Kafka-esque even for them!
‘The GMC then wrote to all my employers telling them that I am under investigation,’ says Professor Sikora. ‘Of course they are all worried that I’ve done something wrong. How can giving tribunal evidence possibly affect my fitness to practise medicine?
‘This is witness intimidation and in a criminal court it would be illegal.’
Indeed it would. But medical professionals often seem to think the laws of the land don't matter to them, has anyone noticed?