PRESS RELEASE: Charlie Massey Chief Executive of the General Medical Council admits that his decision to take Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba to court to have her struck off was incorrect

Last week, Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden Chair of The Doctors’ Association UK interviewed Charlie Massey as part of a documentary on why doctors are leaving the NHS. The episode was presented by Sammy on BBC Radio 4.

For the first time Charlie Massey publicly stated that his decision to appeal the fitness to practice (MPTS) verdict, and pursue Dr Bawa-Garba in the High Court was wrong.

Giving a much need explanation Mr Massey stated:

‘The GMC wasn’t involved in the criminal process whatsoever. So the question that came to me was whether or not that criminal conviction itself should lead to suspension or erasure. The tribunal decided to suspend Dr Bawa-Garba. The advice that I had at the time was that the tribunal had acted unlawfully and went behind the criminal judgement in terms of her responsibility for Jack Adcock’s death. I said at the time that I felt I had no option but to appeal that decision. The High Court decision have upheld that view and then the Court of Appeal overturned that view. It clarified that that legal advice I had was with hindsight not correct and I completely accept that. If that case came up now that Court of Appeal judgement would mean that I wouldn’t have appealed that case.’

DAUK welcomes the Charlie Massey’s comments and are pleased that it has now been accepted by the GMC that their decision to take Dr Bawa-Garba’s to court to have her erased from the medical register was wrong.

Dr Batt-Rawden who interviewed Charlie Massey said ‘We very much welcome the GMC’s acknowledgment that their actions in the Bawa-Garba case were wrong. It was refreshing to hear such honesty from the GMC, and for the first time some evidence of genuine reflection and learning. However, it will take more than this to win back the trust of doctors and repair the damage done to the medical profession. Doctors will be no doubt be asking why it took so long for the GMC to take responsibility for their decision making in a case which has not only damaged morale against the frontlines, but also had a negative impact on patient safety. It is a shame that it has taken 16 months of lobbying from DAUK to get us to this point, but I am hopeful we can now start to move on, and work with the GMC on moving from a culture of blame, to one of learning.’


CONTACT

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NOTES TO EDITORS

1.Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden presented a documentary on BBC Radio 4 aired at 2000 on 10th June 109 on why doctors are leaving the NHS. As part of this episode she interview Charlie Massey, as well as senior representatives of the BMA, RCEM and NHS Providers.

2.DAUK is an independent lobbying group formed in response to the GMC’s actions in the Bawa-Garba case. It’s first action as an organisation was to co-ordinate a letter to Charlie Massey protesting his decision to take Dr Bawa-Garba to court in a letter signed by over 4500 doctors and several MPs.

3.DAUK called for a public investigation into the GMC’s handling of the case which was held by the Health Select Committee in October 2018.

4.DAUK have given evidence to both the Williams Review and the GMC commissioned independent review into gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide.