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29.08.18

Dr Bawa-Garba: GMC boss faces calls to resign over handling of legal case

The head of the General Medical Council (GMC) is facing calls to step down from his role over the handling of a legal case which saw Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba struck off from the medical register.

The Hospital Consultants Specialists Association (HCSA) claimed that GMC chief executive Charlie Massey “may never restore the confidence” of the medical profession after the medical council launched an appeal against an original one-year suspension for the paediatrics junior doctor over the death of Jack Adcock, which led to Dr Bawa-Garba being removed from the medical register before winning her court appeal against the dismissal decision earlier this month.

The HCSA argued that specific concerns were raised about the conduct of the GMC chief executive; including his “personal decision,” without reference to the GMC council, to seek to override the findings of the GMC’s own tribunal service in the case of Dr Bawa-Garba.

HCSA executive member Dr John West said: “This is not a conclusion we have come to lightly, particularly given the tragedy of young Jack Adcock's death and the distress his family have already gone through, but the fact remains that the chief executive’s personal fingerprints are all over a case which has seen doctors’ confidence in the GMC collapse. 

“The level of distrust and anger that we are seeing among hospital doctors has prompted begrudging apologies and a review into the laws surrounding such cases, yet at no point has the chief executive of the GMC taken personal responsibility for his actions. Indeed, we continue to await an acknowledgement that he was incorrect to seek to overturn the considered view of his own medical professional tribunal.”

A spokesperson for the GMC said: "We recognise the anger felt by many doctors about this this case. As an independent regulator responsible for protecting patient safety we are frequently called upon to make difficult decisions, and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We have fully accepted the Court of Appeal’s judgement, in what was a complex and unusual case."

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Image credit: Nick Ansell

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