GMC rules against Dr Andrew Wright, of Bolton, British Medical Journal, 8 November 2011

November 8, 2011


From the British Medical Journal, 8 November 2011 (story by Clare Dyer).

A GP who diagnosed an infection similar to Lyme disease in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome adopted an “unwavering mindset” that ignored mainstream medicine, a General Medical Council fitness to practise panel has said.

The panel decided that Andrew Wright's fitness to practise was impaired, despite his recantation and his resolution to practise only evidence based medicine in future. The sanction to be imposed will be decided at a later date.

Dr Wright ran a private practice in Bolton, Lancashire , specialising in the management of fatigue disorders from 2003 to 2006. He faced charges over his management of 11 patients, all of which he admitted.

Dr Wright admitted sending samples of patients' blood to the Bowen Research and Training Institute in Florida , although the institute was not licensed for clinical laboratory testing and its tests should not be used for diagnostic purposes.

In some cases he carried out direct microscopy himself on samples of patients' blood, although this was not the appropriate test for diagnosing Lyme disease or other Borrelia infection and he lacked adequate specialist training in microscopy.

In one case he diagnosed borreliosis on the basis of a fluorescent antibody test that was not generally recognised as being validated for the purpose and then recommended treatment.

In a report to one patient who was given a diagnosis of a bacterial illness on the basis of results from the Bowen institute, Dr Wright admitted incorrectly describing the structure and function of “granular structures,” wrongly describing cell wall deficient bacteria in white cells, and incorrectly stating the role of vitamin D and angiotensin II in “cell wall deficient L form” bacterial illness.

Dr Wright acknowledged letting down his patients at a time when they were vulnerable and looking for hope and a diagnosis; putting them at risk of harm, whether actual or perceived; and subjecting them to unnecessary expense. He told the panel that he had stopped treating patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, had had “a fundamental change of mindset,” and would practise only evidence based medicine in future.

The panel said it accepted that Dr Wright was “a good and caring doctor” with a previously unblemished career who knew more about chronic fatigue syndrome than most GPs and was motivated by a wish to help his patients. But he had prescribed long term antibiotics and other unconventional treatments, including “medilight” therapy, which involved the removal and reinsertion of patients' blood in a non-sterile environment, described as “horrifying” by an expert in microbiology.

Although the panel was satisfied that Dr Wright did not pose a future risk to patients, it concluded that “this was serious misconduct which had put patients at unwarranted risk of harm, brought the medical profession into disrepute, and breached fundamental tenets of the medical profession.”

7 thoughts on “GMC rules against Dr Andrew Wright, of Bolton, British Medical Journal, 8 November 2011”

  1. Ditto the doctors who bandy around the ridiculous “False illness ideation” when faced with severely ill children with ME and their desperate parents. Some of us are old enough to remember the case of a young boy Ean Proctor,gravely ill with ME, who was put into a swimming pool because the people supposed to be treating him thought he was faking his symptoms. they thought he would be forced to swim. In fact, he started to drown and had to be pulled out. This was about twenty years ago. Essentially, nothing has changed for children in all that time.
    How many of the doctors involved in such appalling treatment have been/are being hauled before the GMC??

  2. Shame on the GMC for depriving ME sufferers of the unfailing support and advice they received from Dr Wright. I am a former patient of Dr Wright’s and cannot speak too highly of the difference he made to my life at a time when my GP had no idea or inclination to adopt an open minded approach to treatment options. Her atttitude was that I should go home shut up and live with it, she initially told that she did not know what was wrong with me and I was subsquently diagnosed by two different consultants with ME.
    Sadly things have not changed as my current GP refers to ME as me being ‘a bit tired’. While the GMC continues to resist the need to address this debilitating condition head on and places sanctions upon the handful of GP’s who are brave enough to put their heads above the parapet then the message is that we ME sufferers are not worthy of treatment.
    The loss of Dr Wright to ME sufferers is a disaster which cannot be quantified and is a sad indictment of the people on the GMC who set themselves up as judge and jury, I just hope for their sakes that neither they or their loved ones ever suffer from this – then again they would probably deny it if it happened

  3. I am very sorry to hear this has happened to Dr Wright.
    I was bitten by a tick in 2006 and became very ill by 2007, ticking all the boxes for late stage Lymes. I was prescribed 1 month Doxycycline by a local Dr but was still very unwell. (Little seems to be known about the diagnoses/treatment of Lymes).I battled the medics then until thankfully I found Dr Wright late 2008 and started on an additional 2 antibiotics in 6 week cycles. It was as if someone had waved a magic wand – it took out so many symptoms almost immediately and I have subsequently made a full recovery. I count my blessings that I found him.
    NB: Had I been given a short course of antibiotics the day of the bite instead of waiting for symptoms to present I would surely never have endured the following nightmare. The NHS blood test relies on finding antibodies but I now know that if your white blood cells have been targeted as mine were, they are not capable of producing antibodies and the test returns negative.

    1. I agree totally. I’ve only just discovered this in 05/2012 and I’m appalled! If it weren’t for discovering Dr Wright in 2002 I’m convinced I’d still be suffering the 30 years of misery and dreadful symptoms. He was the ONLY person who took me seriously after being I’d been sent from one “ology” hospital dept to another year after year. From being told by a rheumatoloigst that ” yes there IS something wrong with but I’ve no idea what it is” to a GP telling me that I’ve “probably got chronic leukaemia!” It is Dr Wright I have to thank for introducing me to Samento and Simba which have given me back my life …. and my recent ” conventional” blood tests now reflect this!!!

  4. Although not an ME sufferer I sympathize entirely. I contracted the neural form of Lyme Disease 5 years ago and the NHS have been totally useless, clueless, scathing and insulting, & I have had no treatment from them at all. When I dragged myself into A&E they decided I was the source of MRSA & slung me in an isolation room, with the hospital boiler, for 3 days, then the consultant told me to “push off back to your own doctor with it”. If Andrew Wright hadn’t identified & treated it I’d be dead now. The GMC disgust me – 2 years flaunting their insult on the web so it prevents asking NHS doctors for a referal to him. They need a dose of it!

  5. The General Medical Council do not want to be found out about their wrongdoing. They are out to get any alternative doctor or any that expose the dangers of modern medicine or expose the damage from pharmaceutical, medical practises or dangerous dentistry. The GMC had it in for Dr Myhill, Dr Andrew Wakefield and now Dr Wright. All of these doctors have discovered the real and true reasons for chronic health conditions in the public, but because they are not “mainstream” they were made to be disgraced. Fortunately, they were all proved right. The GMC is a very dodgey institution – doctors stick together and hide the truth. The medical profession is not transparent and in this day and age now, all doctors should be accountable. The problem is that many chronic illnesses are caused by wrong medical practices (eg. antibiotics which are so dangerous they should be banned (fluroquinolones, the cyclines etc). Other drugs and pharmaceuticals have devastating effects on the gut flora and digestive systems, ruining the fragile immune system. Toxic dentistry causes chronic illness and degeneration, like Alzeimers. Dr Wright is very knowledgeable on Lyme and Chronic Fatigue. The average GP is pretty useless with chronic illness – yet they get away with it. The public must get wise to what is really going on in medicine. But the truth is kept hidden and when it does surface the General Medical Council are ready to jump in and ban good and holistic doctors from practising.

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