I have previously reported on the case of Dr Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, a UK doctor who was convicted of manslaughter and struck off as a medical practitioner following the death of a young patient. See:

Bill Madden’s WordPress, a blog on medical-legal issues is reporting that Dr Bawa-Garba has been successful in her appeal against the decision to remove her name from the register of medical practitioners.  Her conviction for manslaughter remains.

Bill’s blog says:

A media summary of the appellate decision is available online.

Bawa-Garba v General Medical Council [2018] EWCA Civ 1879 opened with a comment from the Court that the central issue on this appeal is the proper approach to the conviction of a medical practitioner for gross negligence manslaughter in the context of fitness to practise sanctions under the Medical Act 1983 (“MA 1983”) where the registrant does not present a continuing risk to patients.

The Court concluded at [91] – [93]:

It is clear from that analysis that Ouseley J approached the matter on the basis that (1) the gross negligence manslaughter verdict meant that the Tribunal had to accept that Dr Bawa-Garba’s failings in her care and treatment of Jack had been truly exceptionally bad and had caused him very serious harm, (2) such culpability would require a sanction of erasure in order to maintain public confidence in the medical profession and its procedures for maintaining its professional standards unless there were sufficiently significant reasons for imposing a lesser sanction. That seems to us to be materially the same as a presumption that a conviction for manslaughter by gross negligence should lead to erasure in the absence of exceptional or truly exceptional circumstances, a proposition which Ouseley J rightly said (at [40]) was not correct.

As the Professional Standards Authority has emphasised, the present case is unusual. No concerns have ever been raised about the clinical competency of Dr Bawa-Garba, other than in relation to Jack’s death. This is so even though she continued to be employed by the Trust until her conviction and for a significant part of that time carried out clinical work as a doctor. She was described before the Tribunal as being in the top third of her Specialist Trainee cohort. The Tribunal was satisfied that she had remedied the deficiencies in her clinical skills, and it accepted the evidence of two consultants that she is an excellent doctor. The Tribunal was satisfied that the risk of her putting a patient at unwarranted risk of harm in the future was low in the sense, as stated in the Impairment Decision, that the risk of her clinical practice suddenly and without explanation falling below the standards expected on any given day is no higher than for any other reasonably competent doctor. The Tribunal also accepted the evidence that she was honest and reliable and had reflected deeply and demonstrated significant and substantial insight, even though it was unable to conclude that she had complete insight into her actions as it did not hear from her directly. It found that her deficient conduct in relation to the care and treatment of Jack was neither deliberate nor reckless and that she did not present a continuing risk to patients.

The Tribunal was an expert body entitled to reach all those conclusions. Indeed, none of them have been challenged by the GMC. The Tribunal was entitled to take into account, consistently with Bijl v General Medical Council [2001] UKPC 42, [2002] Lloyd’s Rep Med 60 at [13], that an important factor weighing in favour of Dr Bawa-Garba is that she is a competent and useful doctor, who presents no material danger to the public, and can provide considerable useful future service to society.