Hospital Dr News

Pressure on GMC chief executive mounts as he’s blamed for Bawa-Garba debacle

The HCSA has called on the chief executive of the GMC to resign in the wake of the regulator’s botched handling of the Bawa-Garba case.

The union warned the GMC that it will never be able to re-gain the confidence of the medical profession under the leadership of Charlie Massey.

Dr Bawa-Garba was struck off by the High Court for her role in the death of six-year-old boy in 2011 after the GMC overturned a more lenient verdict by an MPTS tribunal.

She challenged the finding gross negligence manslaughter in the Court of Appeal and was recently re-instated, with the GMC being ordered to pay her legal costs.

The paediatrician said she was “whole-heartedly sorry” for mistakes at Leicester Royal Infirmary that led to the death of a six-year-old boy from septic shock.

Many doctors were angered by the GMC’s pursuance of Dr Bawa-Garba, with strong evidence to suggest the tragedy was due to systemic failures and not those of an individual trainee.

The HCSA said Charlie Massey’s position had become untenable.

They claim it was his personal decision, without reference to the GMC council, to seek to override the findings of the MPTS tribunal.

The HCSA claims the decision was based on legal advice from Ivan Hare QC, who then went on to represent the regulator in the High Court and subsequent Appeal hearing.

No second legal opinion was sought, according to the union.

Dr John West, HCSA executive member, said: “The level of distrust and anger that we are seeing among hospital doctors has prompted begrudging apologies and a review into the laws surrounding such cases. Yet at no point has the chief executive of the GMC taken personal responsibility for his actions.

“The gross mishandling of this specific case, including the decision to launch a renewed personal attack on the integrity of Dr Bawa-Garba as part of the GMC’s defence in the Appeal court, appears to be the sole responsibility of Charlie Massey.

“It now seems that the GMC will only be able to draw a line under this disastrous episode via the departure of its main architect.”

This follows a petition by doctors trying to prevent the GMC from paying for Dr Bawa-Garba’s legal costs out of doctors’ membership fees.

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