GMC independence is a great British compromise

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5905 (Published 02 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5905
  1. Abi Rimmer, deputy editor
  1. BMJ Careers

Niall Dickson, chief executive and registrar of the General Medical Council, talks to Abi Rimmer about maintaining the GMC’s independence, his successor, and rebuilding the trust of doctors

Having spent seven years at the GMC, Niall Dickson has been in the post longer than he planned. “I originally thought I would do six years here, because that’s the same time I did at the King’s Fund,” he says, “and now it’s been seven so I think I’ve done my stint.”

After a brief spell as a history teacher, Dickson spent his early career as a journalist, and is described by colleagues from that time as both ambitious and highly respected. A true specialist in the field of health and social affairs, Dickson’s move to the King’s Fund in 2004 was not a surprise to those who knew him.

“Good fit” at GMC

In 2010 Dickson moved to the GMC and, although this was a further step away from journalism, former colleagues say that it was a good fit for someone who cared deeply about transparency and accountability in the NHS. For now, …

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