Court of Appeal allows Dr Bawa-Garba’s appeal against permanent striking off


Re: Bawa-Garba v General Medical Council [2018] EWCA Civ 1879

This appeal considered the permanent erasure of the appellant, Dr Bawa-Garba, from the Medical Register by the Divisional Court following an appeal by the GMC against the original Medical Practitioners Tribunal decision. The Tribunal had suspended the appellant for 12 months subject to review, after she had been convicted of gross negligence manslaughter when a patient in her care died.

The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the appeal. The Court held that the Divisional Court was wrong to overturn the decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal in permanently striking the appellant off the Medical Register.

An appeal court should generally be cautious before interfering with an evaluative decision such as whether suspension or erasure is appropriate, particularly in the case of a specialist tribunal decision.

The Tribunal was an expert body entitled to reach the conclusions it did, including that the appellant is a competent and useful doctor, who presents no material continuing danger to the public, and can provide considerable useful future service to society. As a result the Court of Appeal set aside the Divisional Court’s decision and remitted the matter to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal for review.

James Laddie QC, Karon Monoghan QC and Sarah Hannett were involved in this case.