It was funny when ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith got slapped for using unaccredited qualifications to promote her quackery. However, it is now looking as if Patrick Holford’s CV is far more interesting.
Patrick has been criticised for a while now for having no formal qualifications in any nutritional subject. He claims to have a BSc in psychology and his Honorary Diploma in Nutritional Therapy was awarded by the institution he himself founded. But scrutiny of his CV took on a higher profile after the University of Teesside (formally World of Leather) bizarrely awarded him a visiting Professorship. Professor David Colquhoun wrote to the University, under the Freedom of Information Act, to find out just what scrutiny had taken place in the making of this award.
Other Teesside academics were quick to disown the appointment by pointing out that it was the School of Social Sciences and Law that made the appointment and not the School of Health & Social Care and their Professor in Nutrition, Carolyn Summerbell.
Colquhoun went on to note that his CV contained an endorsement by a Dr John Marks that was made several decades ago. When contacted, the retired Dr Marks was quick to disown any endorsement of Holford. Those sticklers for detail, HolfordWatch, have now noted that the details about Holford’s psychology degree cannot be right. On his CV, he claims to have have studied between 1973 and 1976. But York University did not have a psychology course then.
HolfordWatch have checked the dates and it would appear that Holford graduated in 1979. Why the discrepancy? This is not a one off. The same ‘error’ appears on both his own profile and his self-edited Wikipedia page. Other sites record this too.
Holford claims to have started treating mental health patients in 1980 on his CV with his nutritional theories. If he did graduate the year before, that did not leave him a lot of time to get any training in this area. Most of the CV is very vague about dates and early experiences.
What is now funny, is that within 20 minutes of the HolfordWatch findings appearing online, Holford’s own profile was updated. Compare the Google cache with what his page says now.
I think this story might have some legs…