GMC could be led by non-doctor for first time

The GMC is poised to alienate the profession with the real possibility of electing a layman as its new leader.

Professor Graeme Catto (Photograph: MCG)
Professor Graeme Catto (Photograph: MCG)

The new 24-member council will vote amongst themselves for a successor to GMC chairman Sir Graeme Catto who steps down in June.

The 150-year-old medical regulatory body has never been led by anyone other than a qualified doctor.
12 GMC members are laymen and 11 are doctors.

Dr Brian Keighley, former GMC member and chairman of the BMA’s working party on the GMC, said: ‘The GMC has become increasingly good at relating to government, health authorities and the public but it recognises itself that it hasn’t been as good at relating with its own constituents doctors,’

‘I don’t think it’s the time to choose a lay leader when the GMC is eager to enhance its engagement with the profession at a time of great change.’

The Nursing and Midwifery Council, the nursing regulator, is already led by a non-nurse. Chairman Professor Tony Hazell is a former probation officer and academic.

Professor Peter Rubin, former chairman of PMETB and Dr John Jenkins, senior lecturer in Child Health at Queen’s University Belfast, are the strongest medical contenders for the leadership.

  • Do you think the GMC should be led by a layman for the first time in its history?
  • For the full story, see GP’s 6 February issue.


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