The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has restored Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba to the medical register, read the full determination here.
Today, there is widespread relief amongst the medical profession. However, the verdict is no cause for celebration. At the heart of this case is a child, Jack Adcock, who tragically lost his life to sepsis. Our hearts go out to the Adcock family as they continue to grief for Jack. When a child dies it is our duty as doctors to do all we can to prevent the same tragedy from occurring again. We strongly feel that scapegoating an individual doctor or clinician for human errors made whilst whilst working under enormous pressure, does not serve this purpose. Instead, the criminalisation of medical error creates a culture of fear and blame, where clinicians feel afraid to speak up, afraid to reflect, and afraid to learn when things go wrong. Therefore we welcome the verdict of the Medical Tribunal Practitioners Service today, who, after considering all the system failures and the context in which Dr Bawa-Garba made errors, has found her safe to return to medical practice.
Dr Jenny Vaughan, our Law and Policy Officer gave a talk at ICS SOA 2018 entitled ‘Criminalisation of Healthcare. Does it improve patient safety?’. Jenny discussed the history of gross negligence manslaughter in the UK, case law, and revisited the case of Dr Bawa-Garba. You can now listen to Jenny’s full speech as a podcast on the ICS site, including advice on how doctors can avoid litigation.
On the 18th of January our Law and Policy Officer and founder of Manslaughter and Healthcare Dr Jenny Vaughan spoke to doctors about how they can reduce their risk of criminal prosecution. Jenny will also be talking to doctors about the Learn not Blame campaign for a just culture in the NHS and how they can get involved.
We are so proud of our Law and Policy Officer and Founder of Manslaughter and Healthcare Dr Jenny Vaughan for being awarded the BMJ Editor’s Award for speaking ‘Truth to Power’. As well as being a Consultant Neurologist for the past 14 years, Jenny was also the medical lead for the successful overturning of the gross negligence manslaughter conviction of Mr David Sellu. Alongside DAUK Jenny campaigned for Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba’s successful appeal and supported her for a number of years prior to this.
DAUK would like to congratulate Jenny on this very well deserved award!
On the 7th of December Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden DAUK Chair gave the keynote speech at an event held at Birkbeck College hosted in conjunction with the Association for Medical Humanities. Dr Batt-Rawden revisited the case of Dr Bawa-Garba, the events of the day Jack Adcock sadly lost his life, and discussed the role of the consultant and the GMC.
DAUK’s Learn Not Blame lead Dr Cicely Cunningham was invited to speak to clinical negligence solicitors discussing where professional accountability should start and end. This was followed by a panel discussion with the QC for the Professional Standards Authority who argued at Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba’s appeal. Dr Cicely gave a thought provoking and powerful talk and promoted a stimulating discussion regarding a just culture in the NHS.
Following our correspondence with the Health and Social Care Committee (HSC) DAUK has now been invited to submit written evidence to the Parliamentary inquiry into gross negligence manslaughter. This briefing will accompany the BMA’s briefing which will be going to the Health and Social Committee tomorrow afternoon.