GMC impose conditions on Dr Nigel Speight’s licence to practice | 23 April 2016

April 23, 2016

The ME Association's paediatric medical adviser Dr Nigel Speight had conditions attached to his licence to practice by a panel of the General Medical Council on Wednesday (April 20). The conditions have been published today (see image below).

The GMC has not published the reasons for this decision.


I have been in regular contact with my friend and colleague Dr Nigel Speight before, during and after the hearing to offer my full and continuing support.

I have provided the General Medical Council with a detailed letter of support from The ME Association in relation to every aspect of his work involving children and adolescents with ME/CFS.

I have also co-ordinated a joint letter of support from ME/CFS charities, professional colleagues and parents of children with ME/CFS in the UK and from abroad.

I don't want to do or say anything more at this point because MEA trustees will be meeting on Monday next week (April 25th).

Dr Speight is also our honorary medical adviser and we will be issuing a proper statement next week.


Dear friend/supporter

I am sorry to have to tell you of the result of my hearing before an Interim Orders Tribunal of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service on 20 April 2016. Most of you will be familiar with the sequence of events that led up to this case and the current GMC investigation.

At the hearing, my barrister offered that I should voluntarily withdraw from all ME related activity pending further investigation by the GMC. The panel did not accept this offer, but have imposed interim conditions on my registration mirroring the voluntary restrictions I had offered for a period 15 months. The conditions prevent me from carrying out any work in relation to ME in either a paid or unpaid capacity.

The IOT Panel concluded that my practice in the field of ME/CFS may be deficient, and that it was necessary to impose an interim order for the protection of members of the public and to maintain public confidence.

On the positive side, apart from these conditions, the IOT has not restricted my practice in paediatrics in general. The IOT has not made any findings of fact and the order will be reviewed after 6 months. The IOT is not the forum in which to challenge the substance of the complaint made to the GMC.

To those of you who represent charities, I am afraid that I must with immediate effect withdraw my services as a medical/paediatric adviser. I wish you luck in finding someone to fill the gap. I will direct all patients and families with whom I have had prior contact back to your charity for advice.

Please also understand that these restrictions even extend to preventing me speaking or lecturing on the subject of ME.

To my fellow members of the authoring committee of the International Consensus report on paediatric ME/CFS, I am afraid I also have to withdraw from future contributions.

To my friends in Norway and Germany, I am afraid this means that I am unable to continue to support the three families I have already met, either informally or in legal proceedings.

Thanks for very much for all your support. Wish me luck

Best Wishes to you all in your continuing struggles to support patients and families


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8 thoughts on “GMC impose conditions on Dr Nigel Speight’s licence to practice | 23 April 2016”

  1. Dr Nigel Speight & GMC
    This is a devastating decision for all children who are seriously ill with ME & their families who have had the wonderful experience and support of Dr. Speight…ANYBODY who has ME needs to support Dr. Nigel Speight just as he has done for so many of us when we needed him.

  2. This is outrageous. Dr Speight is extremely knowledgeable, supportive and a gentleman. He deserves our full support.

  3. It’s ironic that whilst the GMC purport to safeguard patients and protect them from “rogue” doctors, this decision will have precisely the reverse effect.
    IMO, Dr Speight is yet another victim of the “witch hunt” mentality that prevails within certain quarters of the medical establishment, which has been responsible for many good people driven out in order to maintain a false illness paradigm and preserve the errant status quo
    Meanwhile, the very real threat to peadiatric M.E. patients continues, in the guise of those who peddle unsafe “treatments”, such as GET and the Lightning process.

  4. As a practice nurse and someone who has professionally been employed by 24 GP’s from 1999 to the present, involving 9 different GP practices (some very poor employers, some temporary, but been in most recent post 12 years) I would say not a single one knew or understood ME.

    I say this because in 2001 my then 16 year old daughter fell ill with a series of phasing in and out symptoms, that at the time were difficult to believe. I reflected with an almost panic sensation, was my daughter making these up, yet visually I could see she was so seriously ill.

    We were very fortunate that at the time our own GP admitted to not knowing what could be wrong, yet was very supportive and respectful, even mindful of my suspicions that my daughter did indeed have ME. Unfortunately to this day there is still zero support for ME, or any apparent recognition of it in the area in which we live.

    Had my daughter been a little younger and under paediatric services I would have desperately needed the support of a paediatrician who understood the existence of the awful disease of ME and how even I was so confused and desperate about my daughter, did I have some kind of Münchhausen by proxy.

    The reason I am writing this here is to express in my experience as a nurse working in primary care, I am concerned how there is an assumption that GPs are all knowing professionals and are assumed a status that it is they who have “the knowledge” which they clearly do not. The GMC or anyone complicit in this assumption is actively doing patients with ME harm.

    Our present GPs I would say are outstanding in many ways, even the CQC reported as such, yet in spite of that it is still clear the lead GP who we trust with everything else still has no concept of ME. After failing the DWP/PIP assessment my daughter went to him in desperation. On a GOOD day she can get to the surgery, and his response was, “You are not that bad are you?”. This floored my daughter (now age 30) in disbelief when she is always referred to her GP for letters of evidence or support. I later made an appointment to see him to explain when she is bedridden, cannot eat, wash or sometimes get to the bathroom, we do not call him out or report these days to the surgery because we know there is no treatment. I realised then that part of the problem is how even responsible and understanding GPs might themselves by insulated from the day to day damage that ME imposes on lives.

    I am deeply concerned that if children have this dreadful condition that doctors like Dr Speight are few and far between in actually having insight to the reality of ME, when even friends, family and the medical profession often does not.

  5. We really need to know the reason for this. Is it because he’s against CBT and GET? Surely doctors are allowed to decide which treatments to prescribe.

  6. Huge thanks to Dr Speight and colleagues for all their work on behalf of people with ME and their families. So sorry that you experience these things as a result of your skill, compassion and courage. Hope we can buoy you up now as you have buoyed us up for so long. Sign a card of support for Dr Speight here

  7. What an appalling travesty of justice. Yet another chapter in the shameful history of ME and those who stand up for us being attacked by establishment politicking and string-pulling by vested interests.

    This half-hour youtube lets Dr Speight speak for himself. What a caring, compassionate and true expert on ME and how it affects children and their families. How utterly shocking that such people are now deprived of one of the very few voices to advocate for them.

    “Presentations from “Exercise and ME/CFS: the evidence” evening at Bristol Watershed Part 2.
    Dr Nigel Speight, consultant paediatrician and medical advisor for 5 ME charities, sees the worst cases where ME patients are desperately ill and where children and families are threatened. He explains his approach of supporting and empowering sick children who have ME”

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