Leicester

Jack Adcock: Doctor struck off over six-year-old's death

Hadiza Bawa-Garba
Image caption Hadiza Bawa-Garba was struck off following an appeal

A doctor who was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence over the death of a six-year-old boy has been struck off.

Jack Adcock, who had a heart condition, died of sepsis at Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2011, hours after being admitted with sickness and vomiting.

Doctor Hadiza Bawa-Garba was suspended from the medical register for 12 months last June.

But she has now been struck off following a High Court appeal.

Image copyright Adcock family
Image caption Jack died at Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2011 when undiagnosed sepsis led to cardiac arrest

Jack's mother, Nicola, said: "We are absolutely elated with the decision. It's what we wanted.

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"We don't want any other family or child to be put in the same situation.

"She should have been struck off in the first place - it shouldn't have come to this.

"I know we'll never get Jack back but we have got justice for our little boy."

'Catalogue' of errors

When Jack, from Glen Parva, Leicestershire, was admitted to the hospital in February 2011, his sepsis went undiagnosed and led to him suffering a cardiac arrest.

A 2015 trial at Nottingham Crown Court heard Dr Bawa-Garba, a paediatrician, committed a "catalogue" of errors, including missing signs of his infection and mistakenly thinking Jack was under a do-not-resuscitate order.

The prosecution said Jack, who had Down's Syndrome, died after a series of failings by medical staff, including Dr Bawa-Garba's "failure to discharge her duty" as the responsible doctor.

She was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.

Image copyright PA

In 2017 the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service ruled Dr Bawa-Garba should not be removed from the medical register, but the General Medical Council (GMC) appealed this decision, claiming it was "not sufficient to protect the public".

In December more than 700 medics signed an open letter in support of Dr Bawa-Garba, saying focussing on one person ignored the part low staffing levels played in the tragedy and striking her off would discourage medics from being open when reviewing mistakes.

Charlie Massey, GMC chief executive, said on Thursday: "In today's ruling the court has confirmed that the tribunal was simply wrong to conclude that public confidence in the profession could be maintained without removing the doctor from the medical register.

"We know the strength of feeling expressed by many doctors working in a system under sustained pressure, and we are totally committed to engendering a speak-up culture in the NHS."

The Medical Protection Society, which represented Dr Bawa-Garba, said: "A conviction should not automatically mean that a doctor who has fully remediated and demonstrated insight into their clinical failings is erased.

"This appeal decision may jeopardise an open, learning culture in healthcare at a time when the profession is already marred by low morale and fear."

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