The GMC has appointed Charley Massey, a director general at the Department of Health, as its new chief executive.
He will replace Niall Dickson, who has announced he is stepping down towards the end of 2016.
Pulse has previously reported that Mr Massey, in his Department of Health role, was criticised at a Public Accounts Committee hearing for being uninformed about the costs and ramifications of implementing the Government’s seven-day NHS plans.
Mr Massey was appointed to his role at the Department of Health in 2012, having previously served in senior positions at the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Treasury and Number 10, and as an executive director at the Pensions Regulator.
The GMC said Mr Massey would continue the work on reforms of the regulation process that Mr Dickson has commenced during his seven years at the helm.
GMC chair Professor Terence Stephenson said Mr Massey would ‘bring a wealth of experience to the organisation that will help us protect patients and meet the challenges of regulation in rapidly changing healthcare systems across the UK’.
He said: ‘During Niall’s time as chief executive, the GMC has moved significantly to become a patient safety organisation.
‘With Charlie we will continue that reform by taking forward a number of ambitious projects that will help us to become an organisation that is more responsive to the context in which doctors work, imposes fewer burdens on doctors and the healthcare system and does more to support doctors with the professional challenges they face during their careers.’
Mr Massey said: ‘The GMC is an independent patient safety organisation and I share its ambition to work closely with doctors across all four countries of the UK, at all stages of their training and careers, to promote the highest standards of medical practice.’
Earlier this year Conservative MP David Mowat castigated Mr Massey at a Public Accounts Committee hearing about how little DH officials know about what a seven-day service will cost. Mr Mowat told Mr Massey: ‘I am surprised that you can put this policy in place without having some idea of the implication for staffing levels, cost or budget – that is, after all, what today’s hearing is about.’