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BMA applies to 'intervene' in Bawa-Garba appeal case

The BMA will apply to advise the Court of Appeal in the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case after she was granted permission to appeal a controversial High Court ruling last week.

The BMA has said it welcomes the court’s decision to grant Dr Bawa-Garba permission to appeal, adding that it is ‘applying to intervene’ in the case.

This means that the BMA would be able to provide written submissions to the court that provide insight into professional issues associated with the case.

Dr Bawa-Garba’s application to appeal against the High Court's ruling that she should be struck off the medical register was approved last week by Rt Hon Lord Justice Simon, who said the case met the second appeal test ‘in all respects’.

The case, which saw the GMC appealing against the ruling of its own tribunal, has riled the medical profession.

The second appeal test requires the case to ‘have a real prospect of success’ and ‘raise an important point of principle or practice’ or requires ‘some other compelling reason for the Court of Appeal to hear it’.

BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Given the impact of the High Court ruling on Dr Bawa-Garba, the wider medical profession, and the public, we welcome the decision to grant Dr Bawa-Garba permission to appeal.

‘The BMA will be applying to intervene in the appeal to assist the court and seek to achieve the best possible outcome for the profession.’

The profession previously expressed their anger at the High Court decision with GP leaders declaring that they have no confidence in the GMC at last month's LMCs conference.

This comes after GMC chief executive told Pulse that he had ‘no choice’ but to pursue Dr Bawa-Garba in the High Court, after taking legal advice, which suggested the Medical Practitioners Tribunal service ‘erred in law in the way in which they reached their conclusions’ to suspend the junior doctor.

The Bawa-Garba case

The case of Dr Bawa-Garba, whose 'catalogue of errors' a court said contributed to the death of six-year-old Jack Adcock from sepsis, has prompted concern from the health secretary, the medical royal colleges and the BMA. 

The concern has focused specifically on the use of Dr Bawa-Garba’s own reflections in her e-portfolio - although these particular documents were not used in the case.

It most recently prompted delegates at last month's UK LMCs Conference to call on the BMA to advise GPs to ’disengage from written reflection in both appraisal and revalidation’ until new safeguards are put in place.

Following the case, the GMC is carrying out a review into how gross negligence manslaughter is applied in medicine, which will also look at ‘diversity matters’. 

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt also ordered a 'rapid review', led by former Royal College of Surgeons president Professor Sir Norman Williams, due to report back to the House of Commons this month.

Readers' comments (20)

  • Mixed feelings about this as why aren't they setting safe limits of workload for all DRs .Need to represent your profession,and the Drs your are suppose to be a union for, rather than the preservation of the NHS at all costs.

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  • Cobblers

    Not sure I would welcome the intervention of the BMA in any case I was involved in as their stock could not sink any lower, in my opinion.

    I would be worried about the "Et tu Brute" moment as the BMA sunk a legal knife into my back.

    Beware the Greeks bearing gifts has long been apposite.

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  • MK1

    Not sure about BMA intervention. They are trying to mend bridges I think

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  • I would have thought that Dr Bawa-Garba's defence team would have final say on who can present evidence to support her case, surely? Or are the BMA trying to be impartial?

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  • Council of Despair

    if the BMA is intervening then gawd help her.

    the BMA will only look for it's own interest - rest assured - they do not care about ordinary fron line doctors

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  • Given what was achieved in a few days from crowd funding versus what the BMA did in a few years the BMA should be told THEY ARE NOT WANTED. There’s also the manner in which the ‘doctors union’treated Chris Day, other whistleblowers and there are many. WE NEED A NEW UNION!

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  • I am a overseas trained doctor and was a BMA member for only 1 year out of the 15 I have been here. If it is so clear that the BMA top echelon is useless and comprises just self-serving colleagues who are out to use the profession and status to get all they can, why then do frontline doctors continue to pay for membership. Stop paying and let the organisation go into oblivion!
    The other option is the BMA is the equivalent of a labour union, can we not just set up an alternative body?

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  • "Given what was achieved in a few days from crowd funding versus what the BMA did in a few years the BMA should be told THEY ARE NOT WANTED"

    The BMA are only jumping on the Garba bandwagon to improve their public image. Why are they only just getting involved after it was us who crowd funded whilst they sat on their asses!

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  • http://54000doctors.org/blogs/bma-council-transcript-on-dr-chris-day-whistleblowing-case.html

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  • Dr B-G is doing A LOT better by herself and the genuine medical fraternity than she ever did with the charlatans that mscarade as a doctors union. Dr B-G PLEASE DO NO DEAL WITH THESE A*** HOLES!!!

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