Consultation document on MSBP 14 August 2001
Lisa Blakemore-Brown,
Independent Specialist Psychologist

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Re: Consultation document on MSBP

The Griffiths report recommended that the Department of Health set up a working party to ensure that MSBP was correctly identified. In a balanced world this means not only ensuring medics are aware of the possibility that a parent may induce or fabricate illness but also ensuring that medics do not falsely accuse - in other words that they are accurate in their processes of identification. The outcome for those accused of MSBP is so totally devastating to them and their family, that the standard of proof and the level of certainty must surely have to be extremely high.I cannot believe that the vast majority of medics do not want to be made aware of how false accusations can occur, leading to abuse of children when their real disorders are missed and they are torn from innocent mothers who in turn can find their lives totally destroyed by lies against their character.

I have had the misfortune of seeing many examples of false accusations of MSBP based not only on limited/no evidence but also involving file tampering and actual omission of the evidence of medics who did not agree with social workers. There are many specialist medics who are furious that their opinions have not even been sought when their diagnoses were dismissed by non specialist MSBP `experts` and/or social workers.

It would not have been my choice of a favourite way to spend my life over the last 6 years, but fate has decreed that I should be in a position to bring false cases to the attention of those who should be balanced enough to at least listen to the details. Professor Griffiths was one such person. His recommendations leading to the working party and the consultation document followed not just my evidence but that of others who represented families who had been falsely accused, and families themselves.

The DOH guidance is a consultation document. This means that we can make representations to the Department of Health if we think there should be changes. we have until mid October.

Dr Wilson starts from the premise that the diagnosis is always correctly identified. The consultation document appears to also start from that premise. Nowhere is there reference to false accusations. Quite apart from section citing the deeply worrying `features`of `abuse` derived from startling speculation and bad science which will require considerable alteration and clarification - possibly removal - before we let this loose, the palpably obvious missing chapter for me,is not protection for the doctors who accuse, but protection for children and parents to ensure they will not be falsely accused.

As not one article on false allegations - including my own -has been cited in the references, instead the bias entirely in favour of the writing of the MSBP `expert` perhaps another working party needs to be set up to balance this one.

Or, even better, and as I have long and wearily called for - a public inquiry into this scandal.