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Dr Bawa-Garba allowed to return to practice from July 2019

A tribunal has ruled that Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba - the paediatic trainee involved in the death of a six-year-old boy - will be allowed to return to practice, under certain conditions.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) agreed that the public interest has been served already by her cumulative suspension and that she should be allowed to return to training from July 2019 - under supervision - but she does not intend to return to work until February 2020, when her maternity leave finishes. 

This comes after the MPTS ruled yesterday that Dr Bawa-Garba fitness to practise remained impaired due to her lack of face-to-face patient contact while she was suspended.

The MPTS said Dr Bawa-Garba could return to practice under a number of conditions that will apply for a period of 24 months, which include the appointment of an education supervisor by her responsible officer among others.      

MPTS tribunal chair Ms Claire Sharp said: ‘The evidence before the Tribunal shows that Dr Bawa-Garba has undertaken a significant amount of remediation already and that she has booked further courses to be undertaken prior to her resuming work in February 2020.

‘Given the remediation Dr Bawa-Garba has already undertaken and the full insight she has developed into her shortcomings, the Tribunal was satisfied that Dr Bawa-Garba has the potential to respond positively to remediation, retraining, and to her work being supervised. From the evidence before it, the Tribunal was also satisfied that Dr Bawa-Garba remains fully committed to keeping her skills and knowledge up to date and that she has made substantial progress in doing so despite not being in clinical practice.’

She added: 'The Tribunal was therefore satisfied that a period of conditional registration would be an appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case which would adequately address Dr Bawa-Garba’s extended absence from clinical practice whilst at the same time protecting the public and maintaining confidence in the profession. As noted in its earlier determination at the impairment stage of these proceedings, the Tribunal is satisfied that the public interest in this case has been served by the cumulative suspension of Dr Bawa-Garba’s registration for 18 months. The Tribunal therefore considered that any sanction higher than that of a period of conditional registration would be disproportionate and punitive.'

A GMC spokesperson said: 'We would like to acknowledge how difficult this process has been for the Adcock family and our thoughts are with them.'

'The GMC and Dr Bawa-Garba’s representatives both submitted to the medical practitioners tribunal that her fitness to practise remains impaired due to the length of time she has been out of practice. It is important the doctor’s return to practice is safely managed.'

They added: 'The tribunal agreed, making a finding of impairment, and they have imposed conditions on Dr Bawa-Garba’s registration for two years in order to allow her to return safely to practice.'

The Doctors' Association UK chair Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden said: 'Today’s verdict, whilst welcome, is no cause of celebration. There are no winners in this desperately sad case. However, restoring Dr Bawa-Garba to the medical register is the right outcome and will go some way in addressing the current climate of fear and blame in the NHS which is so toxic to patient safety. I have no doubt that Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba will now be the safest doctor in the hospital, and as a doctor and a mother I would have no hesitation in allowing her to treat my child.'

In December last year, it was announced that the MPTS had extended the suspension of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba by a further six months, in order to 'protect the public'.

This ruling followed a Court of Appeal judgment against the GMC in August ordering Dr Bawa-Garba not to be struck off the medical register.

The GMC had succeeded in striking off Dr Bawa-Garba in a high-profile High Court case after appealling against the MPTS's decision to suspend her for a year. 

Dr Bawa-Garba’s appeal case

Dr Bawa-Garba was struck off the medical register after the High Court ruled in favour of the GMC in the case against its own fitness-to-practise tribunal in January this year.

James Laddie, the QC representing Dr Bawa-Garba, claimed at her appeal hearing in July that there were ‘systemic failings which contributed to the environment in which Dr Bawa-Garba came to make the mistakes which led us to this court’.

Dr Bawa-Garba had originally diagnosed Jack Adcock with gastroenteritis and failed to spot from blood tests that Jack had sepsis, or review chest X-rays that indicated he had a chest infection.

Following the initial High Court ruling, which caused an uproar from the medical profession, the Government has announced its intention to strip the GMC of the power to appeal MPTS decisions. However the GMC has said it will continue until legislation changes.

Readers' comments (18)

  • what about the Consultant? the Bed Manager?
    the person who administered the contra-indicated medicine?
    Ans how will it help her regain clinical skills if she is forced to take more time off until February??
    NO public interest has been served by punishing this lady for trying her best in adverse conditions - only to make public less safe by making doctors less likely to try when conditions are tough.

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  • Too late GMC,the treasury and BMA the relationship between the medical profession and the stae apparatus is broken.?Beyond repair.A system run on too much stick and not carrot is doomed.

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  • "MPTS ruled yesterday that Dr Bawa-Garba fitness to practise remained impaired due to her lack of face-to-face patient contact while she was suspended."

    You really couldn't make it up!!

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  • Seems more a revenge then rehabilitation of this doctor.
    Why was she was not allowed to start work under supervision 6 months ago never mind nearly one more year.
    Great public protector ?? Public perception seem to override justice for dr b g for these institutions.

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  • The GMC acknowledge how difficult this has been for Jack Adcock's family.

    Losing a child to sepsis is the most awful thing and my heart really goes out to them.

    Blaming Dr. Bawa-Garba for this death or anyone else in this case was not the answer. She was the only doctor in perhaps the most difficult circumstances who probably did the most to try to save his life on that day. Mistakes were made however we have to put them in context and we do not know whether the outcome would have been different had those mistakes not been made.

    I just do not know why Jack’s mother is convinced that Dr. Bawa-Garba is to blame for the death of Jack? Who told her she is to blame? Is it because she was convicted by a jury? Is it because the GMC said she should be struck off? Why does Jack’s mum feel that Dr. Bawa-Garba is not going to be safe doctor, when all the evidence points the other way?

    Jack's mum, Nicky Adcock said in 2015 regarding the nurse who was struck off and of Dr. Bawa-Garba "..I want to rip their heads off because the truth is they didn’t do their best for him. If it hadn’t been for them, he’d still be here today.”

    How did she come to this conclusion?

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  • looking at the raw baying hatred spewing out in the Mail (where else) I wonder why any of us want to practice medicine in Britain 2019

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  • Took Early Retirement

    "appointment of an education supervisor" Let's hope he/she will be around rather than buggering off to do a lecture at another hospital on Dr B-G's first day at work.

    I, for one, fell just as sorry for Dr B-G as I do for the Adcock Family; weren't they photographed drinking Champagne after the striking off verdict?

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  • Incredible resilience shown by the fact that she still wants to practice medicine in the UK.

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  • Incident 2011
    Suspended 2015
    Reinstated 2020
    Let’s hope these GMC people are losing at least some sleep when they consider those dates.
    Last out turn off the lights.

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  • 'MPTS tribunal chair Ms Claire Sharp' (Dr + PhD) seems very accomplished (esp in writing her own CV). I won't be around in ten years to see if Dr Sharp has added Dr Bawa Garba's scalp to her CV?

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