15 August 2018

UK appeals court restores Bawa-Garba’s right to practise

Medicolegal Paediatrics

A British paediatric registrar who was found guilty in the death of a child has won back her right to practise medicine after a legal battle financed by doctors around the world.

Dr Hazida Bawa-Garba was found guilty in 2015 of gross negligence in the manslaughter of Jack Adcock, aged six, who died from sepsis caused by pneumonia at a Leicester hospital in 2011.

Subsequently, a medical tribunal suspended the sixth-year registrar for one year, but it rejected as “disproportionate” a bid by the General Medical Council for her to be struck off the medical register.

The council appealed and she was struck off in January this year.

On Monday, the UK Court of Appeal found in Dr Bawa-Garba’s favour, saying the tribunal had been correct to take account of deficiencies at the hospital, including an IT systems failure and lack of staff, and other mitigating factors.

Council chief Charlie Massey said the case had “exposed a raft of concerns” around the role of criminal law in medicine, adding that the council had commissioned an independent review of the case.

“Doctors have rightly challenged us to speak out more forcefully to support those practising in pressured environments, and that is what we are increasing our efforts to do,” he said.

The appeal court  also referred to the tribunal’s finding that Dr Bawa-Garba was “a competent and useful doctor, who presents no material danger to the public, and can provide considerable useful future service to society”.

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2 Comments on "UK appeals court restores Bawa-Garba’s right to practise"

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Sue McDonald
Sue McDonald
10 months 1 day ago

It is ridiculous to criminally charge a doctor working in an inadequate system that the doctor is powerless to control. It’s like asking a surgeon to operate when all the instruments are blunt. It was a travesty of natural justice for Dr Bawa-Garba to be prevented from practicing. The GMC and the NHS should hang their heads in shame.

Deborah Sambo
Deborah Sambo
10 months 4 days ago

Great news not just for Dr Garba, but for Drs around the world who are sometimes the victims of system failure and over bureaucratisation of medicine.