This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

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.

Related images

  • charlie massey 38 paul stuart 330x330px

Readers' comments (28)

  • medicine tastes awful

    just my opinion

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been removed by the moderator

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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. )

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say