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Doctors’ Revolt Over Colleague Struck off After Boy’s Death
Clinical negligence specialist Stuart Bramley writes:-
“Loyalty to colleagues and supporting them in times of crisis are admirable human qualities but Dr Bawa-Garda is not the only individual who has suffered in this dreadful story. The General Medical Council deal with a great many cases of clinical error and striking a doctor off the register for failings at work is extremely unusual, as is a finding of gross negligence manslaughter in a criminal court. The facts here, including the staffing shortages at the time, would have been considered in very great detail at the time of the hearing by a panel of GMC specialists who, largely being doctors themselves, are not people with a naturally anti-NHS agenda. Similarly, the criminal jury would have heard all of the facts including from the doctor’s own legal team.
Fellow clinicians covering up for a colleague’s single mistake would be reprehensible enough – doing so in respect of a series of different errors, as reportedly happened here, is simply not the way to generate public trust in the health service. The Government recently introduced a ‘duty of candour’ for good reason and trying to subvert that duty will surely backfire on those who attempt it. Where avoidable medical mistakes occur, if that is flagged up then lessons will be learned so the same error is less likely to happen again. The Daily Mail story does not reveal what happened to the Consultant who apparently also missed abnormal blood test findings but his repeating the same error does not mean it wasn’t an error – in many legal cases I handle a clinical oversight is repeated by more than one doctor, often senior.
This is an unhappy saga for all involved but the true victims here are surely Jack and his family and my heartfelt sympathies go out to them.”
If you need any advice regarding an issue similar to this, then please do not hesitate to contact our medical negligence solicitors in Exeter.