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15.10.18

GMC to give inspectors human factors training following Bawa-Garba case

Inspectors, clinical experts and decision makers from the General Medical Council (GMC) are to receive human factors training amidst changes to the regulator’s investigative process in response to the handling of the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.

The GMC says it wants to guarantee consistency in how it investigates and will consider the backdrop of “system failings” when reviewing staff conduct.

The medical watchdog said all of its fitness to practice decision makers, case examiners and clinical experts were to go through the training, and will be advised on modifying investigation processes.

It also said that it was aiming to work with local responsible officers to ensure that the same approaches are applied locally when dealing with issues around doctor’s conduct and performance before they are referred to the GMC.

Charlie Massey, chief executive and registrar, said: “This collaboration will make sure that human factors are hardwired into our investigations so that the role systems and workplaces play in events is fully and evenly evaluated in assessing context following serious failings."

The GMC received heavy criticism following their handling of the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, who won her Court of Appeal challenge in August.

Dr Bawa-Garba said she was “whole-heartedly sorry” for mistakes that led to the death of six-year-old Jack Adcock in 2011.

She was dismissed from the medical register in January by a fitness to practice board after being found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

During the widely reported case, campaigners argued that Dr Bawa-Garda was hampered by technical failures in the hospital and she has now been reinstated to the medical register.

Following this, the head of the GMC, Massey, faced calls to resign over the handling of the case, and the Hospital Consultants Specialists Association claimed that the GMC chief “may never restore the confidence” of the medical profession.

The new changes will aim to involve “both staff training and modification of procedures and documentation” and ensure that context and systems issues are always fully taken into account when evaluating a doctor’s performance.

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 Image credit - AmandaLewis

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