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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.

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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.