Dr Bawa-Garba’s appeal

On Monday 13 August 2018, the Court of Appeal over-turned an earlier decision by the Divisional Court that Dr Bawa-Garba should be removed from the medical register. The original 12 month suspension, determined by the medical practitioners tribunal, will now stand and Dr Bawa-Garba’s name will be restored to the medical register.

On 9 April 2019, the medical practitioners tribunal held a review hearing to assess whether Dr Bawa-Garba’s fitness to practise is no longer impaired. The tribunal determined that Dr Bawa-Garba’s fitness to practise remains impaired due to the length of time she has not practised, but that she could return to work from July 2019 under certain conditions.

Reflecting on the case

Although gross negligence manslaughter cases in medicine are extremely rare, this case has exposed a number of concerns, particularly around the role of criminal law in medicine. This is why we commissioned an independent review to look at how the law is applied in situations where the risk of death is a constant, and in the context of systemic pressure. We’re now working with organisations across the UK to take forward the recommendations from this review.

The response to Dr Bawa-Garba’s case has raised a number of important issues for the medical profession. We’ve heard that many doctors feel vulnerable and are worried about the systems they’re working in. We’re absolutely committed to addressing these issues through a programme of projects – you can read more about how we’re doing this on our Supporting a profession under pressure webpages.


Our short guide includes more information on the following areas:

  • why we appealed the case 
  • what we consider when making decisions about a doctors’ fitness to practise
  • how we’re responding to concerns from the profession.

Our full statement is published in the news section of our website. The judgment from the Court of Appeal is available on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.