RCP Refusal to Listen to TPA and then – they give up!
On 16th February (2010) TPA sent a letter to the Royal College of Physicians (London) asking that they distribute copies to all the co-authors of their ‘Policy Statement on the Diagnosis and Management of Primary Hypothyroidism’.
TPA asked the RCP to amend their policy statement according to the medical science that has been around for over 40 years which they choose to ignore. TPA sent them a rebuttal to their statement from Dr Thierry Hertoghe (President International Hormone Society), an up to date Guideline on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypothyroidism from Dr Sarah Myhiil backed by numerous doctors, Eric Pritchard’s paper The Linguistic Etiologies of Thyroxine-Resistant Hypothyroidism and Dr Gordon Skinner’s Response to Professor Gill RCP
The Personal Assistant to the former President Professor Gilmour wrote in response:
Dear Mrs Turner
Thank you for your letter and enclosures sent to the President on 16th February. Professor Gilmour has asked me to say that the Statement was subject to considerable discussion by the Council of the College as well as review by a specialist group in response to the comments made after its initial publication. It represents the concensus of medical opinion of the College and the other bodies that were involved in its preparation. The College cannot enter into any further correspondence on this issue.
Catharyn Perry -Professional Affairs Department
TPA has sent the results of our hypothyroid patient survey & numerous papers and a second rebuttal entitled ‘Royal College of Physicians – The Great Thyroid Scandal in July 2012 (no response was received) again in September 2012 (no response) and yet again 31 January 2013. On 18 February 2013 3 years after sending their extremely negative and uncaring first response the RCP broke it’s silence.
Dear Ms Turner
The President Sir Richard Thompson has asked me to reply to you and remind you of the Royal College of Physicians response dated 2 March 2010 in which it was stated that the College cannot enter into any further correspondence on this issue. The Royal College of Physicians’ position has not changed.
With kind regards,
Executive Assistant to the President.
STOP PRESS: The RCP’s refusal to enter into further discussion has consonance with the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital Enquiry finding in The Executive Summary
Lessons learned and related key recommendations
“1.116 The negative aspects of culture in the system were identified as including:
- A lack of openness to criticism;
- A lack of consideration for patients;Defensiveness
- Looking inwards not outwards;
- Misplaced assumptions about the judgements and actions of others;
- An acceptance of poor standards;
- A failure to put the patient first in everything that is done.”
In July 2015, The Royal College of Physicians asked the British Thyroid Association to take ‘full ownership’ of their original Policy Statement on the Diagnosis and Management of Primary Hypothyroidism, and asked them to amend that statement. This was reported in ~The British Thyroid Foundation’s NewsletterJuly 2015.
When I read that the RCP had opted out of having anything to do with their 2011 Policy Statement, (NOTE THE DATE – 16 February 2016) I again wrote to Linda Cuthbertson asking her to forward details to the President of the RCP.
Would you please be kind enough to ask the President to let me have the RCP’s clear and precise statement as to why the RCP has written to the BTA asking them whether they would now take ownership of the 2011 RCP policy statement on the diagnosis and management of primary hypothyroidism?
Needless to say, neither Linda Cuthbertson nor the President of the RCP responded.
I wrote again, sending a letter direct to the President via Recorded/Signed For Post, so I would know it had been received. Letter I sent below:
“Dear Professor Jane Dacre,
2011 Policy Statement on the Diagnosis and Management of Primary Hypothyroidism
Would you please be kind enough to let me have the RCP’s clear and precise statement as to why the RCP has written to the British Thyroid Association asking them whether they would take ownership (sic) of the 2011 RCP policy statement on the diagnosis and management of primary hypothyroidism? http://www.british-thyroid-association.org/news/BTA_Newsletter_JULY_2015.pdf.
Thyroid Patient Advocacy would like to know whether the RCP intend to dissociate themselves completely from the 2011 policy statement, as I am sure you will agree, the RCP, as the senior professional medical organisation, would ensure that such a major shift in policy should be widely promulgated.
(Chair) www.tpauk.com ”
14 April 2016 I received a response to my letter that I sent to the President of the Royal College of Physicians (sent via Registered Delivery and Signed For) from Dr Andrew Goddard – Registrar.
Dear Mrs Turner
Thank you for your letter.
The RCP does not act in isolation. Our field of clinical work covers 29 specialities and so we often work with specialist bodies to provide guidance or advice, as is the case here. When we produced the original guidance in 2008 and revised it in 2011 we did that jointly with several other organisations, as detailed in that document. When we came to review it again recently we did so in conjunction with the Society for Endocrinology and the British Thyroid Association, and took the view that we were happy for them to be the lead source as it specifically relates to their clinical field: and they were already reviewing this issue, taking account of the American Thyroid Association’s release of a detailed guideline on this issue which includes all the relevant information and evidence.
We do not dissociated ourselves from the 2011 statement but we have taken account of current science and clinical opinion by working in association with other bodies, as we will often do as part of normal good practice.
Dr Andrew Goddard