Ramifications of Bawa-Garba still unfolding

HCSA has robustly defended the rights of hospital doctors in the wake of the General Medical Council’s handling of the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.

In July, the junior doctor successfully appealed against her striking off – the culmination of a campaign funded by grass-roots donations, with the judges ruling that the GMC’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service was indeed the correct body to decide her professional competency.

We have submitted evidence to both the “rapid review” into the ramifications of her treatment led by Professor Sir Norman Williams, and the GMC’s own probe, now led by Leslie Hamilton.

HCSA has called, among other points, for a system of legal “quarantine” for trainees, full legal protection for doctors’ reflections, a mandatory induction process, and an end to both the adversarial approach facing individuals and the overreliance on single “experts”. We also called for protected SPA time to allow proper support and supervision of juniors by Consultants, in contrast to the current squeeze.

Many of Williams’s recommendations in June have not yet been implemented, not least the removal of the GMC’s ability to appeal MPTS findings.

Other recommendations include:

  • A call to prevent the GMC requiring doctors facing fitness-to-practise proceedings to provide reflective material
  • That an investigation be held into concerns at the over-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic healthcare professionals in fitness to practise cases
  • That systemic issues and human factors should be considered alongside individual errors.

HCSA is now working with other interested parties to ensure that the key findings are enacted.