Dr Samei Huda [11 January 2020]: “The reason the complaints have not been successful is because they are baseless. Any decent reflective professional would reflect that means their own idea of what is professional behaviour is clearly wrong but instead you [Professor Peter Kinderman] persist that everyone is wrong except you & your mates”
In December of last year a service user wrote to me to share this “Thank you for your blog and your considered and thoughtful approach. Watching Dr Samei Huda on social media I feel terrified of psychiatry and psychiatrists. A certainty that one view is the right view leads to ideological battles, and such battles use force to win. I think of times I have been vulnerable and terrified in my life and I am very grateful that I had more people like you in it than people like Dr Huda”
I have received many similar comments from both patients and professionals expressing concerns about Dr Huda’s language and that it leaves them frightened to approach medical help. As for myself, I find Dr Huda’s battling and belittling language distressing. He regularly refers to those with other views as his “enemies” and seems to apply one label to them all: “antipsychiatry”. It is my view that he is causing harm by entrenching divides and leaving everyday folk fearful to contribute to discussion in “debates” that President Burn herself has referred to as displaying “such nastiness”. Yet Dr Huda regularly remarks that he finds these ‘nasty’ exchanges as “amusing”.
It is my view that Dr Huda is bringing the profession of Psychiatry into disrepute and that the Royal College of Psychiatrists needs to finally act in an appropriate and responsible way that respects their own guidance and that of the GMC [Good Medical Practice].
I have shared these concerns with the Royal College of Psychiatrists but the College has not offered any substantive response in over a year. Indeed, College leads continue to share social media contributions by Dr Huda. I would contend that this may give out the message that the College, despite its core values for psychiatrists, tacitly approves of the social media behaviour and language of Dr Huda.
Professor Rob Howard, a former College Dean, RCPsych grandee and close colleague of Professor Sir Simon Wessely, said [18 July 2019] “Keep it up Samei. You are patient, lucid and professional in your tweets. The threats you receive indicate only that these people know they are losing the argument”
An archive of Dr Huda in his own words can be read here. This has been shared with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, his employers and the General Medical Council. It is now evident that such an archive has proven necessary, as recently Dr Huda made this statement: “[they] make up stuff that I am supposed to have said”.
On the 26 November 2018, The chief executive of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists called on the mental health professions to build “a coalition of trust, goodwill and an unwavering commitment to better mental health”. The authors went on to state “that good debate between mental health professionals should be respectful, constructive, and conducted in good faith, with conviction and good intention.”
The Dean of Royal College of Psychiatrists [5 January 2020]: “The General Medical Council are the medical regulator and have clear guidelines re use of social media. Most employers also have policies they require employees to abide by.”
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Core Values for Psychiatrists:
Dr George Dawson, MD, Psychiatrist has produced a summary chart of the ‘Identity’ of a psychiatrist including the following:
Comments about Dr Samei Huda’s behaviour and language on Twitter by a range of individuals:
“This high profile psychiatrist publicly insults clinicians who stand up for rights.”
“I’m quite shocked by the immaturity of his behaviour.”
“He’s discrediting himself and his profession.”
“Dr Huda somehow tweets 25 hours a day. Someone should do a study.”
“Many will attest to his unprofessional conduct on Twitter. He brings his whole profession into disrepute.”
“Why doesn’t President Wendy Burn and the Royal College of Psychiatrists put a stop to this person’s bullying and abusive behaviour?”
Please Note: the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists actively chooses to engage with Dr Huda, such as this reply [13 March 2020]: “I would really like to rid the College of football and carrots. Sadly it has proved impossible.”
“Dr Huda has the full support of his colleagues in psychiatry, on Twitter at least. He causes pain and suffering to patients on Twitter by his behaviour and seems to enjoy it. I fear he must do the same in clinical practice.”
“When I was mocked and ridiculed (which you found funny) you talked about antipsychiatrists professionals? What was so funny about someone trivializing what I’m going through?”
“Attacking psychiatric survivors and reform-oriented clinicians on twitter during a pandemic is poor form.”
“@SameiHuda time now to all move beyond ‘us and them’ thinking and Be Kind“
Footnote: I added this footnote on the 20 January 2020 to share a note about my full retirement from Medicine aged 52 years. I have also decided to leave behind activism. I have found the latter to be harmful not just to my career but also to my well-being. I continue to live and struggle with the consequences of dependence on, and withdrawal from, a drug taken as prescribed. As this will be my last note in terms of activism I wish to say sorry if anybody has been left distressed by my posts on hole ousia. I am far from perfect and my interest in ethics does not mean that I am somehow more ethical than anybody else. In these posts I have shared the language used in the public domain by professionals and have not made comment other than share the professional backdrop of College and GMC Core Values. I am of the view that language does matter. It is my earnest hope that ethics and professionalism continue to be essential in the art and science of healing. Peter Gordon