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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Struck-off junior doctor to appeal High Court decision

Dr Hazida Bawa-Garba, the junior doctor that was struck off the medical register after a controversial high court case, has decided to appeal the ruling, and is considering appealing the manslaughter conviction from 2015.

Dr Bawa-Garba has instructed barristers James Laddie QC and Sarah Hannett to lead the appeal against the High Court decision that saw the GMC strike her off the medical register.

The appeal comes after campaigners opened a crowd-funding page and raised over £300,000 to pay for Dr Bawa-Garba’s legal fees.

A statement on the crowd-funding website also said the junior doctor’s ‘legal team are in the process of considering which specialist lawyers to instruct in respect to the manslaughter conviction’.

Dr Bawa-Garba said in an earlier statement on the website that she would use the funds ‘to change to a top independent legal team, to potentially challenge the GMC and to have an independent review of the original conviction’.

Her case was initially led by the MPS but, following the court ruling, she instructed Tim Johnson Law to take over and advise on the most appropriate QCs to use.

The appeal comes after it was revealed that police and prosecutors are in discussions on whether to prosecute University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust regarding the death of 6-year-old Jack Adcock.

The High Court ruling faced significant backlash after Dr Bawa-Garba was struck off by the GMC following a High Court trial, having originally been allowed to continue practising by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPTS).

Dr Bawa-Garba had been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter in 2015. She was a registrar at the Children’s Assessment Unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary on 18 February 2011, and the most senior doctor on the shift, when a six-year-old child with sepsis died. Dr Bawa-Garba continued to work at the hospital trust up until a Crown Court Jury convicted her in November 2015.

But the case was met with anger within the medical community, with hundreds of doctors writing to the GMC to voice their concerns that its actions would lead to ‘criminalisation of clinical error’ and worsen patient safety.

However, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has since ordered 'rapid review' into use of manslaughter charges against doctors.

The barristers would not comment on the case but Matrix Chambers, where they practise, confirmed their involvement.

Readers' comments (28)

  • Good luck Dr Hazida Bawa-Garba.

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  • The system is broken. Wishing you all the very best of luck Dr Bawa-Garba in attaining justice.

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  • I don't think you need any luck Dr Bawa-Garba. You are guilty only of being human.
    If your appeal fails then the judicial system fails and the whole of patient care in this country fails.

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  • How do I contribute to her legal fees?

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  • https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/help-dr-bawa-garba/

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  • Vinci Ho

    Critical time needs a critical mind:
    "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
    And of course,
    ''Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."

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  • Get a statement from Prof Sir Graeme Catto, if you could, Editor.

    I remember that "be open and transparent" about all your mistakes publication from 10 years ago and thought it was a veyr bad idea then

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  • What kind of legal team were the MPS using ?

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  • Good luck! I think we all need to cough up and stick some money in the kitty

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  • As one of the probably silent doctors on the sidelines, very best wishes against the judiciary! How easy to work with hindsight! It is truelly appalling that we who put ourselves into vulnerability due to the dereliction by others should be hung out to dry! This is a battle we must not lose! BMA come on, you must not let us down, we all knew that something like this would happen now that it has the tragedy would be that it has to be repeated! Please, please support us, who are hanging on! Don't support any compromise if government will not back us please give us an alternative!!

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  • I don’t see why we pay exhorbitant fees to organisations that clearly don’t have our best interest as their top priority. The MPS and MDU fees are crippling; the farcical GMC fees are mandatory; yet at best all we can hope for is lacklustre representation and sweeping dismissal if we dare to appear disgruntled.

    Exoneration of Bawa-Garba will be in part redemption.
    Contribute to “our” cause ...

    The crowdfunding link should actually be a topic...

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  • Just Your Average Joe

    Has anyone looked a the shambolic quality of her original legal team which defended the manslaughter case.

    A 5yr old who had watched 1 episode of a tv court case should have been able to get her off with all the systemic failures that occurred on that day.

    The prosecution needed to present an overwhelming case of personal negligence and from the discussions on here and details from the case published - there is no way they should have been able to do that.

    Simply the fact that a family member/mother gave enalapril that precipitated the arrest - means she was in no way to blame, as once arrested the patient is already dead.

    Her efforts to resuscitate are irrelevant as you can't kill someone who has no pulse and is not breathing as they are already dead.

    This technicality alone should have been enough to stop her - as otherwise every paramedic and doctor or nurse involved in a resuscitation attempt in the UK over many years is at risk of manslaughter. The end result - no would go near a collapsed patient in fear of this.

    Watch healthcare collapse on itself.

    The only time when a healthcare professional should ever be at risk of prosecution, is if there is any evidence of intent, foul play. If there is an error it should be leant from and prevented from happening again - and retraining as appropriate, for as long as required with supervision if needed.

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  • I agree with above but when are we all going to stop paying our GMC fees en mass????
    It’s a simple, effective, powerful, headline grabbing and non harmful protest. The only thing is we all need to do it together. They can’t strike us all off

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  • HBG must have some guts. I would have thrown the towel in long ago and said goodbye to this whole stinking mess.

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  • There is ongoing petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/211232 , to make GMC taxpayer funded and not by doctors. I accept its a only beginning but so far have managed only 22000 signature. lets get all doctors & family members , friends to sign that petition. lets raise voice . Let all of us make efforts to reach its goal of 100,000 signature then it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

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  • Best of luck Dr HBG

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  • It is absolutely shameful the way the GMC has treated this doctor and used her as a scapegoat to appease the parents and public at large. In exactly whose interests is this the correct outcome??? Please consider donating to the crowdfunding appeal to support her case- it made me feel a little less nauseous about the whole debacle.

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  • An important Test Case with Grace Implications for future Patient Care and Doctor Safety! GMC May find itself wanting and needing Urgent Reform! Interesting Times!

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  • So she has ditched her defence union (or separated by mutual agreement on this particular issue). Could this mean that they couldn't afford the best QCs? I think so. It means to me that when a really serious matter affects the whole profession (and the one) - money - which is 'muscle', becomes the big blocker. Good on Dr Quershi et al for fighting for Bawa-Garba.

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  • I sincerely hope the GMC won't spend any of GMC fees on contesting an appeal.

    In all my decades in medicine I feel we are reaching a turning point.

    Go ahead and crowdfund and sign the petition outlined above.

    Good luck !

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  • Council of Despair

    Best of luck Dr Bawa-Garba. I'm truly sorry you have been put into this situation but know you are also representing the future hopes of all hard working front line doctors so it's clear that we are all behind you. If this verdict is not over turned then there will be ramifications and I suspect a lot of doctors will be leaving so let's hope common sense prevails. It's time society as a whole come cleanm on what they expect from their doctors - are we going to be the fall guys for government and public failures or will there be fairness and support for us? We can not be asked to do the impossible and then be punished for not being able to do it. And from what I've seen the GMC, CQC, NHSE, doh, BMA, Royal Colleges have known about these issues for years and what have they done???

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  • GMC.CQC,NHSE,DoH,BMA,Royal Collegesand MDOs(the establishment) are quite happy to sacrifice foot soldiers on the front line and look on us a expendable cannon fodder.As long as their nest are feathered on our backs they do not care a jot.Good Luck Dr B-G our hopes and thought go with you.

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  • I hope she succeeds. The case law precedent in this country means if she looses we could all be at risk of jail while doing our job in this unsafe system while trying to save people and without even stabbing anyone intentionally get the same charge. Unjust and unfair.

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  • WE ARE all with you dr bava-garba. fight tooth and nail for this injustice. defence bodies were totally unhelpful to one of my friend and when he was allowed to practice they quoted him such high fee that he could not practice any more.

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  • Dr Garba was let down by the Trust.The Trust has a duty of care to its employee.
    Covering 3 other doctors AND getting everything right is just impossible anyway. ADD a broken IT system. How can you work in acute paediatric Dept without blood tests available? AND get blamed for not acting on tests you cannot access.
    Dr Bawa is let down by the legal system. Apparently, a legal loophole, allowed the Prosecution to keep from the Jury 79 Trust problems because these problems were remedied afterwards. How can this be fair and just in any legal system ?
    It is like saying you cannot mention the fact that a drunk driver who ran over someone was drunk, because he had corrected the problem and was now sober.
    I am lost and bewildered by this case, especially since Dr Bawa's treatment had poor Jack better and bouncing. I cannot even now see, given the circumstances,what she could have done very differently.
    I cannot cover for 3 people and be physically monitoring patients in 4 different locations at the same time.
    Is this so called FAIR Britain.
    Furthermore, on reading this case, I am convinced it was the ACEI that stopped poor Jack when he was getting better and bouncing about.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    If more money is needed I'll donate again.

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  • Good luck Dr Bawa Garba. You didn’t do anything wrong, The NHS is broke and not working yet you take the blame. Fight hard and victory will be yours eventually.

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  • Curb Your Enthusiasm

    Best of luck to Dr BG

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