It is estimated that 5,000 British children may have been taken into care over the past 15 years as a result of Professor Meadow’s theory of Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.The theory that some mothers harm their children to draw attention to themselves has been largely discredited as a result of a series of high-profile court cases.

Prof Meadow's theory has been discredited as a result of three cases in which he gave evidence of women who were wrongly accused of killing their children.

Prof Meadow is now facing an inquiry by the General Medical Council into allegations of serious professional misconduct.

The attorney general Lord Goldsmith is now examining a further 250 criminal cases involving Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy to see if more mothers may have been wrongly convicted.