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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.