High Court judgment handed down

Today the High Court has handed down its judgment in the case of Dr Bawa-Garba.

The judges ruled that Dr Bawa-Garba’s original sanction of suspension should be replaced with a decision to remove the doctor’s name from the medical register.

Our Chief Executive, Charlie Massey, has reacted to the ruling:

‘This has been a tragic case; a family has lost their son in terrible circumstances and a doctor has lost her career.

‘In today’s ruling the court has confirmed that the tribunal was simply wrong to conclude that public confidence in the profession could be maintained without removing the doctor from the medical register.

‘The ruling clarifies that tribunals cannot go behind the jury’s verdict when a doctor is convicted in a criminal court. As the ruling makes clear, the tribunal were wrong when they decided to suspend the doctor’s registration because in doing so they ‘reached their own less severe view of the degree of Dr Bawa-Garba’s personal culpability’ than was established in the criminal court; which found that Dr Bawa-Garba’s failures that day were not simply honest errors or mere negligence, but were truly exceptionally bad. The judgment also found that the tribunal did not give the weight required when considering the need to maintain public confidence in the profession.

‘We know the strength of feeling expressed by many doctors working in a system under sustained pressure, and we are totally committed to engendering a speak-up culture in the NHS. Doctors should never hesitate to act openly and honestly if something has gone wrong.’