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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.