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Grassroots GPs call for GMC chief’s resignation in light of Bawa-Garba case

Pressure group GP Survival has written to demand the resignation of the GMC chief, in light of yesterday’s verdict in the Bawa-Garba appeal case.

The open letter from GP Survival to GMC chair Professor Terence Stephenson requests that GMC chief executive Charley Massey and the GMC executive board ‘be asked to submit their resignations’.

The group, which represents 8,000 grassroots GPs, says the Court of Appeal ruling to reinstate Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba to the medical register ‘demonstrates that the GMC is not fit for purpose in providing just and proportionate regulation of our profession’.

The GMC went to court last year to overturn the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service (MPTS) ruling that Dr Bawa-Garba should be suspended for 12 months rather than erased from the medical register.

Although the High Court ruled in favour of the GMC in Janury, striking off Dr Bawa-Garba, that verdict was yesterday quashed by the Court of Appeal which said the MPTS’ decision had been more appropriate.

GP Survival says the ‘actions of Mr Massey and the board have damaged the credibility of the GMC, have caused doctors throughout the U.K. to suffer considerable fear and anxiety working in a highly pressured system that they will be held as scapegoats for systematic failures, and have likely caused damage to patient safety as a result’.

The letter adds: ‘Mr Massey demonstrates no real remorse for the actions of the GMC in this case, and, just as doctors expect to receive sanctions for serious professional misconduct, GPSurvival ask where are the sanctions to be applied to his deficient performance? An honourable man would have resigned today.’

Highlighting the LMCs Conference’s vote of no confidence in the GMC earlier this year, it says members of GP Survival ‘echo this and demand that action be taken to restore confidence for the profession’.

‘To this end, in addition to the resignations demanded above, we also request that the GMC ask parliament to convene an independent inquiry into the role, processes and attitudes of the GMC towards regulation of the profession and treatment of individual practitioners working in a complex and overstretched National Health Service to prevent future scapegoating. Until both actions are undertaken, it is difficult to see how the GMC can recover,’ the letter adds.

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Readers' comments (28)

  • Quite right too.Needs a clear out.

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  • When can we get then public purse to pay our subs?

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  • Vinci Ho

    Self declaration: I am not a member of GP Survival
    But I still want to refer back to this GMC own internal report in 2014 about the number of doctors who committed suicide during FTP (fitness to practise) proceedings:

    The role and distinction of GMC and MPTS were well specified in the wake of these colleagues who unfortunately took their lives . What has happened to GMC since 2014?
    There is an urgent need of ‘culture shift’ in face of this verdict. Legislations need to be changed . The legal label of the liability when a patient dies as a result of medical mistake(s) , is either murder (with intent) or manslaughter(no intent) if individuals are convicted. It is one thing or the other but nothing else .
    21st century medicine is getting more complex with more technologies , but it never implies that we can have a perfect world with zero mistakes as machines will have their share of faults .
    If these arguments are not addressed directly, we merely will have to ask more and more heads of our regulators to resign.

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  • Charlie Massey.

    Not exactly a strategic Megamind:

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  • AlanAlmond

    I’m not aware of a time when the GMC was held in such low regard by the profession it charged with regulating. This is largley down to the leadership of Mr Massey. He needs to accept responsibility and go.

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  • Can anyone explain why WE still have to pay for the GMC who seem to exist to screw us over?

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  • As you rise the problems that you face get more and more difficult. So those at the top are paid well and have their due respect because they are the ones who have to get the most difficult decisions right.
    Getting the difficult decisions right is why you are there. If you can't do that then you must go.
    And this is such an important decision got so disastrously wrong. It is really hard to see how he can remain.
    If he stays it will be yet another reason for this organisation to be disestablished.

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  • medicine tastes awful

    Yes. now is the time, this Flores Hobbit lookalike should go.

    a BMA or pulse survey/ petition of no confidence would surely put him in his place and show him the exit door.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    "GP Survival" is just an irrelevant body which he will ignore.

    I've just done a letter to Massey composed of one line: "Resign you useless b******" 8000 more might help get the message home.

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  • what is a flores hobbit, please

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  • medicine tastes awful

    just my opinion

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  • Council of Despair

    On the homepage of the GMC it says '

    We help protect patients and improve UK medical education and practice by supporting students, doctors, educators and healthcare providers.'

    The GMC went out of its way to reject its own tribunal decision.

    Massey went on pulse and other outlets to justify the reasons why the GMC took that decision.

    Sir Terence Stephenson was wheeled out on Pulse to basically apologise for the way we were feeling but backed the decision.

    No medical professional could understand the decision that the GMC made - hence the anger.

    Even Jeremy Hunt of all people could not understand the decision and launched a review.

    There were even articles in legal journals questioning the decision.

    The political decision was to take out the option of the GMC rejecting tribunal decisions.

    Now the GMC sole role is to balance these decisions and to be aware of the impact to doctors and to patients but they took a very one-sided decision and had no thought or insight on the impact on the profession. If a non-legally educated front-line doctor could see the errors of the GMC' decision then why could the GMC not see it?

    After the recent verdict the justification given is that 'the GMC has to make difficult decisions' and there are lessons to learn.

    What about the difficult decision we make every minute of the day for which we carry huge risk?

    Given the above - I can not see how Massey has the gumption to remain in his post and there has to be a hard look at how the GMC is run as no one in the GMC had the insight to anticipate how bad a decision they had made.

    There needs to be a detailed investigation into how the GMC is run and how they make their decisions.

    Until there are some real changes the GMC will not be trusted and I suspect has lost the trust of the majority of doctors - in that scenario how can Massey stay?

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  • BMA could lead doctors to stop paying GMC fees until he goes? Or anyway as it is not fit for purpose.

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  • Could somebody at GP Survial set up a petition at for some of the good points above. Thanks.

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  • There is now a petition at please sign if you feel the need.

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  • This comment has been removed by the moderator

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Maybe if the 8000 members of GP survival did something active, like stopping their GMC subs, people would take notice of them. As it is, they are just another hand-wringing body like the BMA. (I know one has to be registered to practice but even HMG would not want 8000 GPs to disappear overnight. )

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  • In biblical times if you falsely and knowingly accused someone of a crime and were found out, then you would suffer the same penalty has would have been given to the wronged person. Perhaps Dr Massey should strike himself off.

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  • Mr Massey is a civil servant,nothing to do with medicine.

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  • I believe the ceo and chief should resign together with the GMC board who are all overpaid and clearly the GMC is not current fit for purpose in the light of the recent case.
    How dare they presume to strike a competent caring doctor off for her errors in a chaotic health care situation
    The GMC EO and whole board should in my humble opinion resign as they clearly believe fitness to practice is impaired if a significant error is made
    Judge yourselves as you judge others and to maintain your personal ethical standards and probity

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