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BMA permitted to advise court in Bawa-Garba appeal

The BMA and the Professional Standards Authority have been permitted to advise the Court of Appeal in the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case.

Dr Bawa-Garba was granted permission in March to appeal a controversial High Court ruling, which saw her struck off the medical register in January.

Following the announcement of an appeal case, the BMA applied to ‘intervene’ so that they could provide written submissions to the court, which provide insight into professional issues associated with the case.

A BMA spokesperson said their advice would focus on ‘the extent to which fitness to practice tribunals are entitled to consider evidence which has already been considered by a jury, including evidence of systemic pressures and remediation’.

They would also look at ‘how the question of maintaining public confidence in the medical profession should be considered and decided in fitness-to-practise cases which involve a criminal conviction’.

Dr Bawa-Garba was granted leave to appeal the High Court ruling at the end of March after the Rt Hon Lord Justice Simon said the case met the second appeal test, which requires the it ‘to have a real prospect of success’ or requires ‘some other compelling reason for the Court of Appeal to hear it.’

The BMA spokesperson added: ‘The BMA will be making submissions on behalf of its members and the interests of the wider profession to help the court decide the important legal issues in this tragic and important case, following the far-reaching impact it has had on doctors.’

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has also been given permission to provide submissions to the court. 

It comes after the GMC was criticised by the PSA – its own regulator – which said the GMC’s bid to strike off the junior doctor was ‘without merit’.

PSA has declined to comment.