Our response to the case of Dr Bawa-Garba - March 2018
We're listening to what you’re saying about this case, and we are in no doubt about the strength and depth of feeling that is being expressed.
We are sorry that it has had such a significant impact on the profession, and that as a result, many of you are feeling upset and unsure about your practice and the environments in which you work. That was never our intention and we know that we have a huge amount to do to rebuild the trust that we have lost.
Our liaison teams are speaking with doctors across the UK. And our leadership team is regularly meeting your representatives – who are putting your views strongly to us – as well as those on the front line. We are determined to do all we can to respond to your concerns and continue our work to improve how we support you.
Since the High Court handed down its judgment, we have:
- met with thousands of doctors, medical students and educators across the UK to discuss the case and how we can better support you in challenging environments
- met with those who represent and work with you, including the British Medical Association (BMA), and your college presidents
- made a number of commitments to the BMA to address some of their most immediate concerns
- announced a review, to be led by Dame Clare Marx to look at how manslaughter by gross negligence, and culpable homicide in Scotland, are applied to medical practice
- committed to participating in the UK government’s review of medical manslaughter
- prioritised work to develop clearer guidance on reflective practice in collaboration with doctors in training representatives, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Postgraduate Deans and medical schools.
Answering your questions about the case
Since the High Court’s judgment was announced we've answered many questions about this case. We've developed(updated 24 April 2018), which we hope you'll find helpful.
If you want to know more about the Court of Appeal and High Court's judgments in this case, you can visit the links below.
- Sir Brian Leveson’s judgment on the criminal proceedings in the Court of Appeal, 8 December 2017
- Mr Justice Ouseley and Lord Justice Gross’ judgment on the GMC’s appeal in the High Court, 25 January 2018
To help you access the information you need, here are some of the key documents we’ve published about this case.
- Dr Colin Melville, our Director of Education and Standards, responds to some of your initial questions
- Our blog post addresses your frequently asked questions about the outcome of our High Court appeal
- Charlie Massey, our Chief Executive, writes in The BMJ about why we decided to appeal to the High Court
- Charlie Massey responds to BAPIO’s open letter to us about this case on our blog
- Charlie Massey responds to a letter from Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee
- Professor Sir Terence Stephenson, our Chair, responds to Nick Ross’s letter about the case in the BMJ
Other organisations have also published helpful details about the case, including the Medical Protection Society - who defended Dr Bawa-Garba in the criminal proceedings and Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing - correcting misinformation about the use of her e-portfolio.
Gross negligence manslaughter review
The for the cross-UK, independent review into how gross negligence manslaughter, and culpable homicide in Scotland are applied to medical practice, are now available. Led by Dame Clare Marx and covering the whole of the UK, the review will bring together doctors, legal and criminal justice experts, patients and employers.
Williams Review into gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare
We have contributed to the UK Government’s rapid policy review into the issues pertaining to gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare in England.
In our submission we highlighted that doctors’ reflections are so fundamental to their professionalism that the UK and devolved governments should consider providing legal protection.
Divisional Court appeal
We have received confirmation that Dr Bawa-Garba has been granted permission to appeal the judgment of the Divisional Court (25 January 2018). A hearing date will be set in due course. It is important that the issues raised in this case are considered by the Court of Appeal so they can they provide authoritative guidance, not just in the present case but for future cases involving criminal convictions. You can find out more in our factsheet.