Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter in 2015 following the death of Jack Adcock, who died of sepsis at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Jack had been admitted to hospital with vomiting and diarrhoea in 2011. The criminal trial in 2015 heard that Jack’s death was caused by ‘serious neglect’ by staff and that at one point Dr Bawa-Garba even mistook Jack for another patient who had a ‘do not resuscitate’ order. In her defence, Dr Bawa-Garba argued that she had worked a 12-hour shift with no break and that there had been a lot of miscommunication in the ward.
After her criminal conviction, Dr Bawa-Garba was suspended from practice for a year in June 2017. However, the General Medical Council appealed against this decision on the basis that the suspension was insufficient to protect the public. Dr Bawa-Garba was subsequently struck off in January 2018.
Dr Bawa-Garba appealed against her striking off the medical role and she succeeded in the Court of Appeal. The Judges determined that her actions in relation to Jack were neither “deliberate nor reckless”. In addition they found that she did not present a continuing risk to patients.
However, Jack’s mother was unsurprisingly opposed to the verdict and argued that the outcome would mean the public would lose ‘faith and trust’ in the NHS.
Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, stated that they fully accepted the Court of Appeal’s judgement. He explained that they take their responsibility of protecting patient safety very seriously. However, he acknowledged that there was strong pressure in the medical profession for the General Medical Council to support those practising in very pressured environments.
If you believe that you or a family member have been a victim of medical negligence, under the NHS or following private treatment, then please contact us on 0116 254 7456, so we can advise you further.