The GP suspended for failings in the abuse case of Baby Peter at the hands of his carers has been cleared to return back to work by the GMC.
Dr Jerome Ikwueke, a GP in Tottenham, London, had been suspended for 12 months after a previous GMC hearing ruled that his fitness to practise had been impaired on grounds of misconduct after missing several opportunities to report his suspicions of abuse at the hands of Peter Connolly’s mother and boyfriend.
At a GMC hearing yesterday GPs including Dr Jacqueline Ketley, GP lead appraiser for NHS Tower Hamlets and Dr Tony Grewal, medical director of Londonwide LMCs, both gave ‘unanimous’ evidence in support of Dr Ikwueke and urging the regulator to reinstate his registration.
The review panel paid particular attention to evidence given by Dr Ketley, who commented on his ‘heightened awareness of risk factors in relation to child protection’.
‘This arose from observation of two cases, since the last hearing, in which you highlighted potential child protection issues. She felt that this was “striking” particularly since other clinicians had not grasped the significance of those risk factors.
‘She considered that [Dr Ikwueke had] gained further insight since the previous hearing. This was demonstrated by the way in which you reflected more and have, in Dr Ketley’s judgment, become more “forceful” in saying that you must ensure best practice, even where others do not.’
The panel considered Dr Ikwueke to have gained fuller insight during his suspension which was ‘genuine and sufficient’. The panel decided to reinstate Dr Ikwueke’s registration with 18 conditional terms, which will be reviewed over the course of the next year.
Panel chair Professor Brian Gomes da Costa, concluded: ‘The Panel has determined that, undertakings would be neither appropriate nor sufficient to protect the wider public interest, in particular in maintaining public confidence in the medical profession.’
‘This period of conditional registration will give you the opportunity to demonstrate that you have embedded your insight and learning into your clinical practice and that your skills and knowledge are up to date.’