Professor John Walker Smith Brings Appeal Against General Medical Council
Posted Feb 01 2012 12:00am
Today Professor John Walker-Smith begins his appeal against the General Medical Council's (GMC's) determination that he is guilty of serious professional misconduct and that he should lose his license to practice. The case is heard by Justice Mitting in Court 19 at the Royal Courts of Justice Court, London (see Notes).
Parents of the many children with autism and bowel disease seen by Professor Walker-Smith at the Royal Free Hospital, North London up to his retirement in 2001 express their immense gratitude for his kind, considerate and innovative treatment of their children. Without treatment these children would have remained in considerable pain and their condition would have worsened.
During a long and distinguished career Professor Walker-Smith led new directions in treatment and research in paediatric gastroenterology. In particular he established the existence of bowel disease in autistic children that had been unrecognised until its discovery in 1998. He has been described as the "father of paediatric gastroenterology" and his contribution to medicine rewarded with international recognition. His books and journal articles are read by many clinicians and researchers throughout the world who have learnt from his pioneering work.
We are confident that Professor Walker-Smith will be found innocent of the findings the GMC has determined against him. The measure of British justice is tested by the way it treats a man of Professor Walker-Smith's stature following his distinguished and unblemished career.
One consequence of the GMC's decision against Professor Walker-Smith are the serious difficulties parents now face in finding NHS treatment for autistic children with bowel disease.
Cryshame is a group of parents who saw their children regress into autism in their second year and ask why this happened. No scientific explanation is available to explain why children regress following normal development. Cryshame wholeheartedly supports Professor John Walker-Smith, an expert of world class renown.