Leslie Hamilton is today announcing the findings of an independent report, commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC), into how gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide are applied to medical practice.
Dr Jenny Vaughan, DAUK’s Law and Policy officer writes for the BMJ about the case which has rocked medicine more than any other in recent times. Read her analysis as the case draws to its conclusion.
“When the General Medical Council (GMC) appealed for her to be struck off the medical register, it lit the blue touch paper for a whole generation of doctors working in very challenging conditions across the country. Many of these doctors were simply not prepared to accept the High Court’s subsequent verdict in January 2018 that Bawa-Garba should be erased from the medical register. And while the GMC’s appeal was initially successful, its pyrrhic victory was to be short lived. An unprecedented crowdfunding appeal raised more than £350 000 for Bawa-Garba to hire a new legal team and launch an appeal. In August 2018 the appeal court rejected the High Court’s decision to allow the GMC to erase Bawa-Garba’s name from the medical register.”
Read the full article 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.
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.
After months of pressure on the Health Select Committee, from DAUK, David Nicholl, Alan Woodall GP Survival and others, a Parliamentary inquiry has now been announced.
Despite the request coming from the grassroots, disappointingly no doctors or organisations representing doctors have been invited to give evidence. However, the Health Select Committee will be hearing from Charlie Massey.
A profile of DAUK and our newest committee member in the RCGP magazine, GP Front line: “a fledging but already high-profile political lobbying group, The Doctors’ Association, providing the virtual organisation with a GP voice on issues such as Brexit, and the recent Bawa-Garba case. “
“We’re an Independent, non-profit, non-partisan political lobbying group for doctors” . Adrian explains, “it was apparent that there was a desire for doctors to become more involved in political campaigning.
Coverage in Pulse: A doctor-led lobbying group has urged the health secretary to review the GMC’s ability to appeal its own fitness-to-practice tribunal. In a letter to Matt Hancock, The Doctor’s Association UK said the GMC’s right to appeal the MPTS has led to ‘significant unwelcome and unintended consequences’.