Four days after receiving an email from the GMC detailing the complaint, “top celebrity psychiatrist” Dr Mike McPhillips, called police to tell them where he intended to kill himself and asked them to “find him before a member of the public did”. The 59-year-old was found next to a bridge near his London home in March and died in hospital three days later.

Dr McPhillips left six suicide notes to family and friends, the coroner heard, including to his wife and the medical director at the Nightingale Hospital Dr David Oyewole.

Assistant coroner, Dr Anton van Dellen, said several of the letters referenced the tribunal being heard in public. The inquest heard he wrote in one note: “Dead people can’t be put on trial, so the obvious solution is for me to not be alive.” It was said that, between 2020 and 2022, between five and nine doctors took their own lives while under investigation by the GMC.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Dr van Dellen said:

“I have no hesitation in concluding that the information in the content of the communication from the GMC did contribute to Dr McPhillips’ state of mind and therefore contributed to his death.”

Speaking after the inquest, Anthony Omo, General Counsel and Director of Fitness to Practise at the GMC, said its investigations are carried out “as sensitively and compassionately as possible”. He said: “Where a doctor dies while under investigation, we undertake a review to ensure we understand and learn any lessons.”

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