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Head of medical manslaughter review appointed new GMC chair

Dame Clare Marx has been appointed the next chair of the GMC to replace Professor Sir Terence Stephenson in January 2019.

As the first female chair of the GMC, the appointment will see Dame Clare step down from her current position as chair of the independent review of gross negligence manslaughter, effective immediately.

Dame Clare was previously the first woman to be president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

She has also worked as an orthopaedic surgeon at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust for over 20 years before becoming associate medical director for appraisal and revalidation at the trust in 2013.

GMC chief executive Charlie Massey said Dame Clare brings a ‘wealth of experience’ to the role of GMC chair that ‘will be invaluable … as the GMC continues its work to protect patients by maintaining and improving standards in medical practice’.

Leslie Hamilton, a former cardiac surgeon and current member of the medical manslaughter review, will take over as chair.

Mr Hamilton spent 16 years as a consultant paediatric surgeon and now works as a medical expert in clinical negligence cases and a specialist advisor at the CQC.

The review, which launched in February 2018, is investigating why there are fewer GNM cases involving healthcare organisations compared with individuals.

Dame Clare said it was a ‘great honour’ to be appointed as chair during ‘a watershed moment for a profession under intense pressure’. 

She said: ‘I have stepped down with immediate effect from leading the independent review of gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide in medicine before it makes any conclusions or recommendations for the GMC and other bodies. In this way the review will continue to be one which is truly independent.’

Mr Hamilton said his new role ‘is a big responsibility but a real privilege’, adding that he hopes his ‘experience as a surgeon will stand me in good stead in leading this important work’.

Readers' comments (11)

  • Could we replace Charlie Massey with an intelligent non-government henchman at the same time?

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  • 'The review, which launched in February 2018, is investigating why there are fewer GNM cases involving healthcare organisations compared with individuals.'

    I can help them with that: it's far easier to scapegoat an individual junior doctor than the prawn sandwich brigade from the boardroom.

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  • "'The review, which launched in February 2018, is investigating why there are fewer GNM cases involving healthcare organisations compared with individuals."

    If you were given the option of dumping the entire blame load on a single person and saving a huge amount of money in payouts. Which option do you think you would choose?

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  • So the Independent review is not actually independent then?

    Would this appointment be a reward for helping in facing-down the Junior Doctors strike?

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  • Why did she go for this job when she was in the midst of another important job?
    Just rubbish and poor

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  • Next we need head of the Prison Service to replace xyz so Doctors can feel the true meaning of how hot heat can get.

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  • I wonder why no one has any confidence in the unfair and biased system. Blame should lie where blame lies. Poor staffing, poor resources, low morale and the usual non clinicians telling clinicians how to do your job. Al least Prof Stephenson has the decency to step down unlike Mr Massey.

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  • I read ' struck off for leaving a sick child to die' in some paper. This ignoring deterioration in a child has been a theme in every publication regarding the DrBG case.
    But, Nurse Amaro {NA} stopped observations because Jack was so active at 3 pm and Dr BG did not intervene because he was bouncing about at 430 pm.
    Moreover, Jack was transferred to ward 28 from CAU [ and NA and BG's care]at 7 pm because he was so well. There is a complete dichotomy in the evidence presented.
    Where is the stated 'obvious deterioration' if he was so well he was transferred out at 7pm?
    He only deteriorated when he was given the ACEI, shortly afterwards.

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  • Is this judgement based on nonexistent deterioration safe?

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