Coverage in Pulse: GMC chief executive admits Bawa-Garba legal advice was wrong during interview with DAUK

GMC chief executive admits Bawa-Garba legal advice was wrong in interview with DAUK Chair Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden on BBC Radio 4

Coverage in Pulse:

The GMC’s chief executive has admitted the legal advice the regulator received during the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case was wrong and if the same case were to take place now he would not try to have a doctor barred from practice.

Charlie Massey said he ‘completely accepts’ the legal advice he was given to pursue the striking off of Dr Bawa-Garba – who was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence following the death of a six-year-old patient – was ‘not correct’.

In response, Dr Batt-Rawden said: ‘The acknowledgment that his decision to appeal the MPTS verdict in Dr Bawa-Garba’s case was incorrect was long overdue and will be welcomed by doctors and the public.

‘DAUK wrote to the GMC as far back as February 2018 in a letter signed by over 4,500 doctors in protest of the GMC’s appeal against Dr Bawa-Garba. In that letter we brought to light that the Professional Standards Authority had found this decision to be “incorrect” and “without merit” and that the MPTS “considered all relevant principles and applied the case law appropriately”.

‘DAUK also pointed out that the Supreme Court established that professional tribunals were better placed than courts to determine professional competence in 2016. We were therefore astonished by the GMC’s actions in this case. We were pleased that DAUK was found to be correct in the Court of Appeal in August 2018 and that Dr Bawa-Garba was rightly restored to the medical register, something we have long fought for during our Learn Not Blame campaign.’

She added: ‘To my knowledge this was the first occasion that Charlie Massey accepted publicly that this decision was wrong. This represents a crucial first step in repairing the damage done to the medical profession by the Bawa-Garba case.

‘The GMC still has a long way to go in regaining the trust of doctors, but for the first time in this interview I saw that some genuine reflection and learning had taken place. I hope this signals change in tone from the GMC and we look forward to working with them in moving from a culture of blame, to one of learning.’

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