Williams Review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare recommends the Removal of the GMC’s right of appeal against decisions of the Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal
The report of Professor Sir Norman Williams following his review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare has today been published.
The review was set up to consider the wider patient safety impact resulting from concerns among healthcare professionals that simple errors could result in prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter, even if they occur in the context of broader organisational and systemic failings. This was particularly in light of the much-publicised case of Dr Bawa-Garba who was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter in respect of a child who died whilst a patient in the hospital where she was working. She was subsequently suspended by the Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal but that sanction was changed to one of erasure following an appeal to the High Court by the GMC. Dr Bawa-Garba’s appeal to the Court of Appeal is due to be heard shortly.
This review was not set up to recommend changes in the law but to look at how decisions are made within the current legal framework.
The letter at the start of the report notes that “Testimony to our panel also raised concerns about the regulatory system which had wider implications than those limited to gross negligence manslaughter”. As such the report is of general significance to the regulation of medical practitioners and other healthcare practitioners.
The report’s recommendations include:
The GMC’ has stated that it is “disappointed by the Review’s recommendations”.
The full report can be found here.
Summary written by Nicola Newbegin.
nicola newbegin, healthcare, GMC, gross negligence
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