This week many doctors were relieved that Hadiza Bawa-Garba ‘s appeal against her erasure from the medical register was successful.
Back in February, junior doctor anger was reaching fever pitch as the GMC had successfully appealed her suspension and had her permanently erased from the medical register. Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at the time, ordered a rapid review of policy looking specifically at the law and procedures around gross negligence manslaughter. It is a fascinating example of leadership at the highest levels of NHS management and how, in my view, it was completely bungled.
In essence, the report tried to appease junior doctors by stripping the GMC of its power to appeal bad decisions made by the Medical Professionals Tribunal. However the exact same powers were held by the Professional Standards Authority (whose CEO, Harry Cayton, contributed to writing the review).
I’ll be posting more about Gross Negligence Manslaughter over this year. In the meantime you can check out my thoughts about The Williams Review over at the BMJ Medical Ethics blog.