In GP Online: A letter co-ordinated by DAUK campaigners have urged the health secretary to stop GMC appeals against medical tribunal decisions immediately, warning the NHS faces further 'breakdown' if the regulator continues to use this power.
Following the news that the GMC continues to appeal MPTS verdicts despite the recommendations made by the Williams Review and the outpouring of concern from doctors following the Bawa-Garba case, Treasurer Dr Rinesh Parmar spoke to GPOnline.
DAUK has replied to a letter from Charlie Massey dated 13 September. We welcome the apology offered by Mr Massey and the opportunity to meet. DAUK has, however, expressed concern in a number of areas, including the news that the GMC is continuing to appeal MPTS verdicts, and call on the GMC to cease doing so urgently.
DAUK has received a reply from Mr Charlie Massey, CEO of the GMC, to a letter sent on the 21st August from DAUK and 1200 GMC registered doctors, including Dr Philippa Whitford MP.
We welcome Mr Massey’s apology and will be taking him up on his offer to meet DAUK.
Dr Philippa Whitford MP joins The Doctors’ Association UK in leading the call of over 1200 UK doctors for a public investigation into the GMC’s handling of the Bawa-Garba case. Collectively, we call for the GMC to take responsibility for its actions and learn valuable lessons from the outcome of this case. Applying a genuinely reflective approach, as is expected of doctors in their practice, would be a significant step in restoring the confidence and trust in the GMC as a regulatory body.
Dr Cicely Cunningham, DAUK’s Learn Not Blame Lead, in The Guardian: “In 2015, Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter for her part in the death of six-year-old Jack Adcock from sepsis. She was subsequently struck off the medical register after the doctors’ regulatory body, the General Medical Council, argued that the conviction meant that she could not be fit to practise. The court of appeal ruled on Monday that Bawa-Garba should be reinstated. I believe it was the right decision.”
The message from the GMC at Dr Bawa-Garba’s appeal was clear; that systemic failures should not have been taken into account when determining whether an otherwise excellent doctor should be struck off. We now find ourselves in the unprecedented situation where doctors feel that on any given day in the NHS, that they too could be criminally convicted and pursued by their regulator in the courts to ensure that they will never practice medicine again. The GMC has shown it cannot be trusted to take a balanced and non-punitive approach in the context of system failures.