Bawa Garba case

High Court ruling regarding Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba following the tragic death of a 6-year-old boy in 2011. Subsequently convicted of manslaughter. Removed from the GMC register, although Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) decision was to suspend for a year.  GMC appealed, saying it had not taken into account the manslaughter conviction.

High Court then overturned erasure, saying that tribunal did not commit any errors in its procedures, and therefore its conclusions were valid.

The trust acknowledged systemic failures, so why the vindictiveness? Its report into the death (“no single error responsible for death”) was not brought before jury, as being beyond scope of the trial! Not lazy or under influence, rather, took on extra duties in overstretched hospital with very little supervision.

And since when was gross negligence manslaughter law the right way to deal with errors made by doctors in training?

Why not corporate manslaughter case against trust?

Concern about reflective notes being used in court – despite being confidential? Used in support of Dr Bawa-Garba to show remediation efforts.

Twitter response from consultants was to emphasise “WE are responsible – so long as you tell us what’s going on”.

Subsequently 2 reviews –

  • Marx review by GMC
  • Williams review by government into medical gross negligence.
    • Suggested that GMC lose right to appeal Tribunal decisions.  Most of these appeals have been regarding sexual misconduct cases.  Professional standards Authority would still be able to appeal.
    • Suggested that GMC not be allowed to access reflective notes eg portfolio.  Could still be used as evidence in prosecution, however, not clear whether would help defence or prosecution more
    • Touched on high rate of cases involving black or minority ethnic doctors, but did nothing other than suggest BAME representation in investigations
    • Recommends explanatory note for gross negligence law, to improve consistency.  Law remains the same, however