Health Policy

10.04.19

Dr Bawa-Garba cleared to return to work under supervision after tribunal finds her a ‘low risk to patients’

The doctor convicted over the death of a six-year boy can return to work after a medical tribunal restored her to the medical register.

Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was found guilty of negligence manslaughter over the death of Jack Adcock in 2015, but the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has now ruled that she can return to work but under close supervision.

Bawa-Garba was struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2018 but she won her appeal to be reinstated to the medical register following a backlash from the medical community.

The MPTS has now stated that she posed a “low risk to patients” and said she can return to her role as a paediatrics registrar from 2020 when her maternity leave ends.

Jack Adcock was incorrectly diagnosed by Bawa-Garba in 2011 when she examined the six-year-old who suffered from a heart condition and had Down’s Syndrome.

Adcock died from a cardiac arrest caused by sepsis 11 hours after being admitted to hospital, and prosecutors in her criminal trial said his death was caused by the indirect diagnosis and “serious neglect” by staff.

Bawa-Garba was also found to have confused Adcock with another patient who had a “do not attempt resuscitation” order, and she was given a two-year suspended sentence and suspended from the medical register by the MPTS.

The GMC then appealed to have her struck off the register at the High Court, but a number of doctors claimed she was being made a scapegoat for an unsafe system that left her covering several wards without supervision.

Jenny Vaughan, law and policy officer at the Doctor’s Association UK said that whilst Jack deserved better care, Bawa-Garba was working in “appalling conditions”, and the then health secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a review of manslaughter by gross negligence laws.

Bawa-Garba won her case in the Court of Appeal to be reinstated last year and is currently serving a suspension until July.

Following the tribunal’s ruling, she will resume work in February 2020 albeit it at a lower grade than she previously worked at – and will be under supervision for 24 months.

The MPTS recognised that her fitness to practise remains impaired, largely due to spending a significant amount of time away from frontline patient care.

Tribunal chairwoman Claire Sharp said evidence showed that Bawa-Garba had undertaken a “significant” amount of remediation and the tribunal was satisfied that the imposed conditions would be sufficient to allow her safe and successful return to practice.

Speaking at the tribunal Bawa-Garba said she was “truly sorry” for her part in Jack’s death.

Jenny Vaughan said it was “right” for Bawa-Garba to be allowed to return to work, and warned that there is a “culture of blame in the NHS at the moment which, if left unchecked, will mean patient safety is not what it should be as staff will be too scared to admit their mistakes.”

The GMC said the process had been “difficult” for the Adcock family and said it was “important the doctor’s return to practise is safely managed.”

 Image credit - Nick AnsellPA WirePA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >
Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

10/06/2019Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical advisor and education lead at Helpforce, and Lynn Twinn, talent development consultant, outline the new national traini... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Mid Yorks Hospitals NHS Trust: Our improvement journey

28/05/2019Mid Yorks Hospitals NHS Trust: Our improvement journey

Chief executive of the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Martin Barkley, writes for NHE to guide us through his trust’s improvement journey. It’s arguably a hackneyed phrase in the NHS, but Mid Yorkshire really has been on a significant journey in the last few years. Dogged by a previously problematic reputation, I believe th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >
Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

10/06/2019Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical advisor and education lead at Helpforce, and Lynn Twinn, talent development consultant, outline the new national traini... more >
Pay and reward in the NHS needs to be taken seriously

10/06/2019Pay and reward in the NHS needs to be taken seriously

Ben Gershlick, senior economics analyst at the Health Foundation, examines the new pay deal for NHS staff.  More than £50bn is sp... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News