Patient safety

04.01.19

Dr Bawa-Garba has medical register suspension extended by six months

Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba’s suspension from the medical register has been extended another six months after a review by the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service (MPTS) determined that the measure was needed to “protect the public” and for personal reasons.

The decision follows the recent Court of Appeal judgement which reversed the decision to strike Dr Bawa-Garba from the medical register, after the MPTS had initially suspended the junior doctor when she was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter in 2015.

She originally received a year-long suspension from the MPTS following a successful appeal from the GMC which was controversial amongst medical professions, some of which complained that Dr Bawa-Garba was hampered by technical failures in the hospital.

Bawa-Garba previously said she was “whole-heartedly sorry” for mistakes which led to the death of six-year-old patient Jack Adcock in 2011 at Leicestershire Royal Infirmary.

In the new announcement, the MPTS said the extension had been agreed by the GMC and Dr Bawa-Garba, with a review to decide whether she is fit to return to work taking place before the six months are up.

Commenting on the decision, a MPTS spokesperson said a paper review of the doctor’s case took place after both the doctor and GMC agreed the suspension should be extended to allow her time to prepare for a full review hearing.

Stephen James Killen, an MPTS legally qualified chair, reviewed the case and decided that the doctor’s suspension will be extended for six months and that a review will be held before the suspension expires.

Killen said the extended suspension was “appropriate” to “protect the public” and give Bawa-Garba time to “address the remaining concerns regarding her fitness to practice, including some personal issues.”

“Having again considered all of the evidence presented to me, together with the submissions of the parties, I am satisfied that, in the circumstances as they stand today, a further period of suspension is appropriate and proportionate and would be sufficient to protect the public and the public interest.”

A GMC spokesperson commented: “Dr Bawa-Garba contacted us ahead of her scheduled review hearing and advised that she would not be in a position to provide the evidence she would wish.

“She therefore requested that her review hearing take place later next year. Given her personal circumstances, we were supportive of this request.”

A full hearing will take place later in 2019.

Image credit - Nick AnsellPA WirePA Images

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