Charlie Massey

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Charlie Massey

Charlie Massey is a former UK senior civil servant, now chief executive and registrar at the General Medical Council (GMC), the public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the UK.

Until October 2016 Massey was director general for strategy and external relations at the UK Department of Health, where he served as a top aide to Conservative health secretary Jeremy Hunt. His appointment at the GMC was condemned by many doctors.


'Conflict of interest'

In July 2016 over 1300 doctors signed a letter of no confidence in the GMC, on the grounds that Massey's involvement in pushing a controversial new contract for junior doctors showed a conflict of interest. The contract had prompted repeated strikes by medical professionals.[1] The doctors wrote:

‘The GMC is an independent organisation that seeks to protect patients...However, the appointment of Charlie Massey as the chief executive of the GMC demonstrates a lack of regard for the public, and undermines the duty of care that it has towards those it seeks to protect. His position as the director general of the Department of Health and adviser to the health secretary demonstrates, in our view, a clear conflict of interest. We are concerned as to how the GMC can maintain its independence with this appointment.’

No idea about 7-day NHS proposals costs

Massey caught press attention in February 2016 for being unable to answer questions on the funding of the government's seven-day NHS proposals at a hearing of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee. [2]

ACOBA rules GMC appointment 'not improper'

When Massey sought the approval of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) in July 2016 to become chief executive and registrar at GMC the committee found that, even though the role would involve contact with government, the transition was not 'improper' and would benefit both the Department of Health and the health care sector. It noted that he that had applied for the role and been offered it following an open competition.

ACOBA agreed on condition that Massey would not draw on information from his time in Crown service, and that he would not personally lobby government on behalf of GMC for a period of two years, outside of communications that are 'in the normal course of business for the GMC as a regulator'. [3]

Previous roles

Massey was account director for ageing society and state pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions, and was appointed director general for Acute Care and Workforce in July 2016.

Charity roles

Massey is deputy chair of the Action on Disability and Development charity and chairs a housing charity called the Walnut Tree.


  1. Ashitha Nagesh, Doctors embroiled in another dispute over one of Jeremy Hunt’s aides, METRO, 16 July 2016, accessed 26 October 2016.
  2. Dan Bloom, Top Jeremy Hunt advisor admits he has no idea what 7-day NHS will cost, Mirror, 24 February 2016, accessed 26 October 2016.
  3. Summary of business appointments applications - Charlie Massey,, accessed 25 October 2016.