RCP response to the High Court decision regarding the case of Dr Bawa-Garba

Professor Jane Dacre gives her response following today's High Court decision. 

Responding to the High Court decision regarding the case of Dr Bawa-Garba, Professor Jane Dacre said:

Several of our fellows and members have expressed concern about the judgment made today and though we respect the legal process, and the GMC’s decision to challenge the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), we do have concerns about the impact this judgment will have on many doctors, particularly trainees.

We recognise that the GMC has issued guidance for doctors working in what they think are unsafe conditions - suggesting that they should flag the problems to their consultants and management team and have a clear paper trail to show that this has happened. However, this leaves doctors in the difficult position of being forced to choose between refusing to work in such circumstances, and therefore not only being in breach of contract but also potentially letting down patients, or risking civil or even criminal action if they do choose to work and errors or harms occur.

This case will influence the confidence doctors have in making and documenting honest reflections on their practise when things have gone wrong. The implication is that blame may be directed to doctors for doing their best in what are often very difficult circumstances.

Notes to editors

For more information please contact, Morgan Evans, communications manager. 020 3075 1468 | 07795088253