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Views And Reviews Response

GMC responds to concerns raised by Bawa-Garba case

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 09 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k660
  1. Charlie Massey, chief executive and registrar
  1. General Medical Council, London, UK
  2. email

If you think conditions are unsafe, document the situation, but don’t walk away, Charlie Massey advises

No one can be left in any doubt that the case of Hadiza Bawa-Garba has raised genuine concerns in the medical profession. I know too that this case has set the General Medical Council back in our desire to support doctors as the best way to protect patients.

Crucially, however, it has focused an important debate on an objective on which we all agree: the need for an open and honest culture where doctors can learn from reflective practice to drive improvements in patient care.

Our regional teams have spoken to hundreds of doctors in the past few weeks. Although concerns remain, doctors we have spoken to now understand this case better, are less fearful as a result, and tell us that they feel more confident and willing to raise concerns. It is right that there is a balanced debate on the issue, based on facts.

We know any doctor can make a mistake or a series of mistakes. When those everyday mistakes happen we will always take system pressures into …

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