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26.07.18

Bawa-Garba: junior doctor ‘whole-heartedly sorry’ for mistakes, hearing ends

The suspended Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba said she was “whole-heartedly sorry” for mistakes made that led to the death of a six-year-old boy in 2011 as her Court of Appeal trial ended today.

Dr Bawa-Garba was struck off as a junior doctor after being found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter of Jack Adcock, who died from septic shock at Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2011 following being admitted with vomiting and sickness.

The paediatrics junior doctor received a two-year suspended criminal sentence in 2015, and was dismissed from the medical register in January this year after initially receiving a one-year suspension from the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) following an appeal launched by the General Medical Council.

Yesterday, however, the Court of Appeal in London heard Dr Bawa-Garba’s lawyers make the case for Dr Bawa-Garba to return to medicine in a case that has garnered the support in favour of the dismissed doctor from thousands of doctors around the world and the BMA.

Supporters of Dr Bawa-Garba noted technical failures in the hospital during Adcock’s treatment such as a computer fault that meant the junior doctor could not retrieve blood test results.

In a statement today, Dr Bawa-Garba said she was “whole-heartedly sorry” for mistakes made during the incident. She added: “It will live with me for the rest of my life.”

At the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, lawyer James Laddie QC told judges that the case had led into a lightning rod for doctors and dissatisfied medical staff across the UK.

He said: “They are baffled and angered by an outcome which has left the NHS deprived of the services of a young and talented paediatrician who suffers from no character flaw rendering her unsuitable to practise medicine and who, it is agreed, poses no risk to patient safety.”

The hearing ended today, with a decision to be made at a later date.

Last month, the General Medical Council announced it was looking for written submissions for an upcoming gross negligence manslaughter review.

The week following, it was announced by then-health secretary Jeremy Hunt that all non-coronial unexpected deaths within the NHS in England and Wales are to be investigated by medical examiners to in order to improve investigations into the cause of death.

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Image credit: Nick Ansell, PA Images

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