BMA responds to Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba ruling

By agency reporter
August 14, 2018

Commenting on the Court of Appeal judgement in the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “We welcome today’s judgment of this important case reversing the erasure of Dr Bawa-Garba from the medical register and restoring the decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal. We recognise the hard work of all involved, including Dr Bawa-Garba’s legal team, in securing a positive outcome. The BMA was pleased to be able to intervene in this case on behalf of the entire medical profession. 

“We hope that Dr Bawa-Garba will now rightly be given space to resume her career. Today’s successful appeal in no way detracts from the tragic circumstances of this case and the unexpected death of a young boy, and we once again send our deepest condolences to Jack Adcock’s family. 

“The GMC’s successful high court appeal in January, which overturned the Medical Practitioners Tribunal’s (MPT’s) 12-month suspension of Dr Bawa-Garba and resulted in her erasure from the medical register, caused widespread alarm amongst doctors and undermined the role of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal’s Service (MPTS). We know that doctors going through MPT hearings find it stressful enough and the perception of a risk of double jeopardy can only exacerbate this problem. 

“Today’s judgment vindicates the BMA’s position that the MPTS is the right body to determine a doctor’s future in these complex and difficult cases, in which wider systemic pressures affecting patient safety need to be considered. It demonstrates that our call, acted upon by the Government, to remove the GMC’s right of appeal of MPTS decisions, was the right one. 

“It also raises serious questions over the GMC’s ill-judged handling of the case. As a regulator it has lost the confidence of doctors and must now act to rectify their relationship with profession.

“Lessons must be learnt from this case which raises wider issues about the multiple factors that affect patient safety in an NHS under extreme pressure rather than narrowly focusing only on individuals. 

 “Today’s judgement is a wake-up call for the Government that action is urgently needed to properly resource the NHS and address the systemic pressures and constraints that doctors are working under and which compromise the delivery of high-quality, safe patient care.”

* British Medical Association https://www.bma.org.uk/

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