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Dr Bawa-Garba granted permission to appeal GMC decision

Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, the junior doctor who was struck off the medical register after a controversial High Court case, has been allowed to appeal the decision.

The application, dated 28 March, was approved by Rt Hon Lord Justice Simon, who said Dr Bawa-Garba’s application met the second appeal test ‘in all respects'. 

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’.

In the application, Justice Simon said: ‘Having rejected the respondent’s argument that a gross negligent manslaughter conviction should lead to erasure in the absence of (truly) exceptional circumstances, it is properly arguable that the Divisional Court applied an equivalent test in allowing the respondent’s appeal.’

GMC chief executive told Pulse earlier this week 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.

Pulse previously reported that Dr Bawa-Garba has instructed barristers James Laddie QC and Sarah Hannett to lead the appeal against the High Court decision.

Her case was initially led by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) but Dr Bawa-Garba said in an earlier statement that she would use the funds raised by supporters ‘to change to a top independent legal team, to potentially challenge the GMC and to have an independent review of the original conviction’.

Dr Rob Hendry, medical director at the MPS, said: ‘MPS was taking steps to submit an appeal as soon as the High Court judgment was handed down, so we are very pleased the appeal submitted by Dr Bawa-Garba’s new legal team has been granted.’

He added that it is ‘encouraging’ that Lord Justice Simon rejected the argument that a gross negligence manslaughter conviction should automatically see a doctor erased from the register.

A GMC spokesperson said: ‘We have now received confirmation that Dr Bawa-Garba has been granted permission to appeal the judgment of the Divisional Court on 25 January 2018. A hearing date will be set in due course.’

According to the application document the hearing will take one day and occur ‘before the end of July 2018’.

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 week's UK LMCs Conference to declare a vote of no confidence in the GMC. The conference also called 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 set to carry 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 next month.

Readers' comments (19)

  • doctordog.

    Let’s hope also that this highlights the role of inadequate staffing and lack of consultant accountability for poor supervision.

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  • Should Appeal succeed then GMC must review process and resignation of members follow IF GMC hopes to retain any credibility with Profession!

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  • This is wonderful news. But if we want to send a message to the GMC; sign the petition!
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/211232

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  • Took Early Retirement

    If she wins, a whole layer of GMC management should NOT resign: they should be sacked.

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  • Best wishes to Dr Bawa-Garba. I feel The GMC is just the same as many institutions “Shameless”. No matter how many mistakes or wrong decisions they take the changes made will only be cosmetic and no major impact will be there to the people in the top people GMC. It is unfortunate that the very organisation that forces the Doctors to work to the highest standards and harsh actions are taken against the individual doctors, often the Victim them self of the Failed NHS, when something’s big goes wrong.
    The GPs are very vulnerable and exposed to risk and it is a sad place to be in the current toxic and unsafe system.
    We are constantly battling the unsafe system and expected to provide highest level of the service with out fail. Ambulance arrives in 45 min for chest pain, 2.5 hrs for difficulty to breath and this failure of the system is ignored and you have to take the full responsibility for the care of the pt. what does the GMC or the CQC do about these failings.
    We need to open up the debate and make the system change or else the trickle of the GPs away from partnership and regular work will continue.

    I think time has come for the GMC leadership to resign and the GMC to be completely overhauled from foundation upwards and more importantly to be funded by the government and not our money.

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  • CENSORSHIP?

    GMC chief executive told Pulse earlier this week 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.

    If legal advice had stated that the initial conviction was not sound... would Charlie have no choice but to appeal it on behalf of Dr Garba..

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  • CENSORSHIP?

    If and when Dr Garbas team overturn the initial unjust conviction... hopefully there can be an investigation and accountability for the organisational failings of the trust....

    Hopefully this will help Nurse Amaro as well..

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  • CENSORSHIP?

    Name and address 29 March 3:04
    Nice one...lol
    GMC appraisal is not due yet
    Hopefully they'll stop all other meaningfull productive work and family life to start uploading in the last month...

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  • CENSORSHIP?

    Dr Rob Hendry, medical director at the MPS, said: ‘MPS was taking steps to submit an appeal as soon as the High Court judgment was handed down, so we are very pleased the appeal submitted by Dr Bawa-Garba’s new legal team has been granted.’

    WHY DIDNT THE GMC AWAIT AN APPEAL OF THE INITIAL HEARING...OR TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT AN APPEAL WAS PLANNED FROM THE OUTSET?

    Dr Garba had been working in a research type position away from patient contact and could have continued pending the appeal....

    Lost Earning compensation please

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