Shannett Thompson, senior associate at Kingsley Napley, considers the background to the independent review of gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide (review) commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC) and highlights its key recommendations. This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Corporate Crime on 4 July 2019.
This decision is one that regulatory lawyers like me have been waiting for. On 25 and 26 July 2018, the Court of Appeal considered Dr Bawa-Garba’s appeal against erasure from the medical register. The appeal followed the General Medical Council’s use of its power under section 40 of the Medical Act 1983, which led the High Court to review the decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal which considered Dr Bawa-Garba’s case, imposing a suspension.
Dr Bawa-Garba was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter in November 2015, following the sad death of a young boy from sepsis. Whilst issues arose from Dr Bawa-Garba’s practice on the day in question, some systemic failures were present. These included Dr Bawa-Garba having recently returned from 14 months’ maternity leave and being left in charge of an acute ward, her working an extensive shift without respite and the lack of permanent nursing staff.