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Leading GP to advise GMC's medical manslaughter review

Former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada will advise the GMC's independent review into gross negligence manslaughter.

Professor Gerada, a GP in south-west London and medical director of the Practitioner Health Programme, is one of 10 experts chosen to assist Dame Clare Marx as she conducts the review.

The GMC said the expertise on the working group spanned the medical profession, including doctors in training, the legal system, employers and patients.

The experts will meet regularly throughout the year, to analyse all aspects of how GNM cases are initiated and investigated in the UK, the GMC said.

This will include:

  • What happens after a fatal incident occurs
  • The impact of any criminal investigation
  • Inquiries by a coroner, procurator fiscal or sheriff
  • The regulatory process and the GMC’s fitness to practise processes.

Dame Clare said: ‘The wealth of knowledge and experience of the working group members will be hugely valuable for the review into how gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide cases are dealt with, and what can be improved.

‘As a group we are committed to exploring every avenue to promote a no blame culture and encouraging a renewed focus on reflective practice and learning. It will be a difficult challenge, but I am confident that my colleagues on this working group are the ideal team to achieve this.’

As previously reported, the GMC's review will explore why there are fewer cases involving healthcare organisations compared with individuals.

It will also look at whether enough consideration is given to ‘system pressures, errors or failures’ surrounding the doctor at the time of the patient’s death, and to 'diversity matters', after the GMC was accused of 'inherent bias'.

The review was announced following the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, who was struck off the medical register after the GMC appealed against its own tribunal's ruling that she could continue to practise despite a court conviction for gross negligence manslaughter.

The other nine members on the working group are: CQC advisor and former cardiac surgeon Leslie Hamilton; Professor Pali Hungin, a professor of primary care and general practice; Bertie Leigh, non-executive director of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and chair of the Clinical Disputes Forum; Liz McAnulty, retired nurse and barrister; Vivienne Parry, a genomics scientist who will be lay adviser to the working group; Selva Ramasamy QC, who will be legal advisor to the working group; Professor Iqbal Singh, described as a 'pioneer in ethnic health and diversity'; Dr Jude Tweedie, a cardiology trainee; and Dr Iain Wallace, chair of the Scottish Association of Medical Directors.

Readers' comments (16)

  • Will hold breath for Dr Bawa Garba's appeal outcome but not for some drivel from a coven of quangoistas.

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  • Wouldnt call this and independent rv more like a coven of the establishment.Best to wait for the appeal.Then pick up the pieces.It is not fair to prosecute individuals for total systematic failure.The GMC with the Dr BG case has reinforced the blame culture and the damage they have done will not be reversed in the near future.Trust has been lost between the establishment and medics.

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  • Cobblers

    Do I have faith that the GMC can investigate the GMC?

    That'll be a "NO" then.

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  • It's advise.

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  • Tusen tack Sofia!
    (Although the first line of the article is still wrong).

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  • What did Prof. Gerada achieve in her stint as RCGP chair?
    It's hard to see anything sensible coming from this committee except to whitewash GMC.

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  • Honestly they should ignore anyone who has any link at all to politics, the BMA, CCGs, NHSE and of course the RCGP.

    They should really just pick a few names at random out of the performer list (for GPs) specialist register (for consultants) and the rest of the GMC register for training/ trust grade doctors etc. It is much more likely to get a representative group.

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  • Vinci Ho

    It is all about ‘intent’ , no matter who is to represent on this panel , in my opinion .
    The difference between murder and manslaughter is all down to motive and intent . And the difference between manslaughter and medical manslaughter (I do think this should be a new terminology instead) should originate from same philosophy. The difference between Ian Patterson and BG is remarkably a illustration of intent to wound versus intent to heal . Both were struck off GMC list. The fact that ‘intent to heal’ fails to materialise and for the worst , leads to a killing due to multiple aspects of a system failure(hence, accident) , does not fit into any category defined as manslaughter in UK legislations by my understanding. This is simply because ‘intent to heal’ is neither malicious nor reckless by nature .

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  • The difference between medical manslaughter and health and safety breach manslaughter must include the fact that the natural course of events is often death in medicine, and the baseline prevalence of death and morbidity is much higher than, for example, a well run roofing company.
    In a roofing business the employer can ensure all equipment and processes are up to date and as safe as possible (although not necessarily 0% risk).

    In medicine if the patient is confusing or not working properly we can't dispose of them and request a new one - rather the point is that they are confusing or not working properly!

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  • Think it is not quite as simple as intent. The speeding motorist who kills the child did not have have intent, nor does the reckless mechanic who fails to fix your brakes. There has got to be some balanced judgement in the process.

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