Leicester

Hadiza Bawa-Garba: Medics rally behind struck off doctor

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

A doctor who was dismissed after the death of a six-year-old boy may challenge the decision after an online appeal raised more than £200,000.

Last week the High Court ruled Hadiza Bawa-Garba could be struck off because of mistakes in the care of Jack Adcock.

More than 8,000 doctors have signed a letter which said the case would "lessen our chances of preventing a similar death".

Dr Bawa-Garba said she would spend the donations on changing her legal team.

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Jack Adcock, from Glen Parva, was treated for several hours at hospital

Jack Adcock died of septic shock at Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2011, hours after being admitted with sickness and vomiting.

Bawa-Garba's 2015 trial heard Jack, who had Down's Syndrome and a heart condition, was the subject of a "catalogue" of errors including missing signs of his infection and mistakenly thinking he was under a do-not-resuscitate order.

Bawa-Garba was suspended from the medical register for 12 months last June but the General Medical Council (GMC) appealed, saying this was "not sufficient to protect the public".

At the High Court on Friday judges backed this appeal and she was struck off.

Image caption An appeal for legal expenses has raised more than £200,000 in a matter of days

An open letter, written by medical registrar Fionna Martin after the High Court ruling, said doctors have had to deal with increasing pressures.

"We now see them being held criminally responsible for mistakes made whilst working under these pressures, which, with chronic staff shortages, prolonged underfunding and low morale, now occur with worrying frequency," it said.

"Dr Bawa-Garba made mistakes, but to properly learn from these they must be viewed in the context in which she was working.

"If we allow Jack Adcock's death to be explained by the culpability of a single individual we can only lessen our chances of preventing a similar death in the future."

"As a society we have a deep desire to find a 'baddie' but the truth is that healthcare is complex and dynamic and often, as in this case, there are multiple systems and people involved in mistakes", the letter continued.

"Oversimplifying the causes of Jack Adcock's death reduces our ability to make hospitals safer for everyone who needs them now."

The view was echoed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt who said after the ruling doctors must be about to "reflect completely openly" on mistakes.

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