Swindon Advertiser
Psychiatrist faces malpractice charge
By Dominic Gilbert
February 5, 2014

Psychiatrist George Hibbert

Psychiatrist George Hibbert

A LEADING psychiatrist from Blunsdon is facing a fitness to practice hearing later this month into allegations of malpractice between June and September 2007.

Dr George Hibbert, who held sway over the fate of hundreds of parents and their children at the Tadpole Cottage assessment centre in Blunsdon, faces allegations he failed to provide good clinical care to a patient.

The Adver previously reported allegations surrounding the doctor, who has been fighting every step of the way and in 2012 even offered to surrender his licence to practice in exchange for an inquiry launched by the General Medical Council being dropped.

Last year the path was opened for a High Court challenge to the inquiry after a top judge found there was sufficient evidence to dismiss the allegations.

But a Medical Practition-ers Tribunal Service hearing has now been set between 17 February and 28 February, to be heard in Manchester.

The GMC investigation was launched after a woman in her 30s alleged Dr Hibbert wrongfully urged her three-year-old toddler be removed from her care by social workers.

After a three month stay at Dr Hibbert’s medical centre, the child was taken into foster care before being returned to the mother a year later after a judge ruled it was in the baby’s best interest.

The allegations being brought for Dr Hibbert to answer include failure to provide good clinical care to a patient.

It is alleged that he failed to adequately consider a differential diagnosis, discuss his treatment and care of the patient with the consultant responsible for the patient’s care, and prepare a care plan in advance of the patient being discharged from Tadpole Cottage.

It is also alleged that Dr Hibbert’s actions were misleading and dishonest in that he informed a nurse at St George’s Hospital that the patient had left Tadpole Cottage of her own accord, when he knew this to be untrue, and it is further alleged that he submitted a final report to the court which did not provide an accurate account of the patient’s discharge.

As previously reported, in his practice the Assessment in Care Centre, Dr Hibbert charged local authorities £6,000 a week for every family in his care and £210 an hour just to read documents such as medical records.

By 2007 his company was making a profit of around £460,000-a-year from the arrangement with social services.

Speaking to the Adver yesterday Dr Hibbert said he was bound by confidentiality not to make any comment, but he reiterated he has strenuously denied the charges since they were brought to him two years ago.