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Independents' Day

Dr Bawa-Garba was in a 'perfect storm', says supervisor ahead of appeal verdict

Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was working in a ‘perfect storm’ on the day of six-year-old Jack Adcock’s death, her former clinical supervisor claims.

On BBC’s Panorama tonight, Dr Jonathan Cusack, Dr Bawa-Garba’s former supervisor and a consultant neonatologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, will defend the junior doctor for missing signs of sepsis in the face of systemic pressures.

This comes as the verdict in her appeal against the controversial High Court case, which saw her struck off the medical register in January, is handed down later today.

Dr Bawa-Garba will also defend her own actions on the programme, saying she ‘didn’t recognise’ sepsis symptoms in six-year-old Jack Adcock.

She will say: ‘I went for what was more common in that age group which is gastroenteritis and I felt that it was a very bad case of it. I didn’t recognise sepsis, I didn’t think sepsis then, I wish I did.’

She will add that doctors should be held accountable ‘if a doctor was reckless or a doctor for example came to work drunk’.

But she will say: ‘That should be different from coming to work under difficult circumstances and making a clinical error.’

Dr Cusack will defend Dr Bawa-Garba, saying she ‘misdiagnosed sepsis and that’s really common, it’s really easy to misdiagnose sepsis’.

He will add: ‘Errors rarely occur in isolation… there were staffing issues, computer problems etc… perfect storm.’

This comes after 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 was in shock, or review chest X-rays that indicated he had the 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 (16)

  • Fingers crossed for you Dr Bawa Garba.

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  • Curb Your Enthusiasm

    Good luck Dr BG

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  • All we need to hope is that common sense prevails. Dr Bawa Garba should have been back at work 6 years ago after being completely failed by the system. Appropriate compensation is due.

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  • Everybody needs to ask themselves 'Who is ultimately responsible for what happened?' - and then speak up! Are we afraid to speak up?

    Who got sentenced and who didn't? Who knew of systemic failures from an internal report? Who was responsible for systemic failures?

    Has everybody read all the reports and case law? Why not?

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  • Breaking news!! She's won her case!!!!!

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  • Well done to her legal team and the BMA and journalists who have supported her. It has been a marathon but will hopefully influence the GMC to behave more reasonably to doctors. Also it should encourage hospitals to improve their systems rather than letting them treat doctors as expendable material.

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  • Can somebody clarify just what support she received from the BMA?

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  • Very pleased with the courts decision.
    GMC had not taken in to consideration of the circumstances and conditions in which the Doctor was working.

    GMCs role should be changed it should remain a registration body, to ensure Medical schools standards are good and maintained.
    Independent separate disciplinary body to deal with complaints against doctors should be established.
    Many Doctors have lost faith in th GMC.

    Dr F.M. Hirji
    Grovehill Medical Centre
    Kilbride court
    Hemel Hemspstead
    HP2 6AD

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  • Truth always wind. Congratulation Hadiza

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  • Truth always wins.Congratulation Hadiza

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