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'I hope this case will improve patient safety'

PICTURED: Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba

DR HADIZA Bawa-Garba has spoken out after being reinstated to the medical register by the Court of Appeal yesterday (Aug 13).

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Dr Bawa-Garba said she hoped the case would improve working conditions for junior doctors, lead to better recognition of sepsis and improve patient safety.

In an episode of Panorama, aired on the BBC on Monday evening, she said: "I went for what was more common in that age group which is gastroenteritis and I felt that it was a very bad case of it. I didn’t recognise sepsis, I didn’t think sepsis then, I wish I did.

"I am sorry for not recognising sepsis and I am sorry for my role in what happened to Jack and I will say that again today."

She added: "It was devastating, I have never had any experience like that, have never lost a patient."

However, she said that her mistakes did not make her a criminal. Speaking on her criminal court case, she said: "I remember sitting there listening to their account of my actions and I felt like a criminal. I’m not a criminal. I made some wrong clinical judgments that I wish that I hadn’t.’

"I believe that if a doctor was reckless or a doctor for example came to work drunk, you should be investigated, but that should be different from coming to work under difficult circumstances and making a clinical error," she said.

Dr Bawa-Garba was suspended from the medical register for a year for the death of her patient, 6-year old Jack Adcock who died of sepsis in 2011.

This was appealed by the General Medical Council (GMC), who claimed the decision was "not sufficient to protect the public". The outcome prompted thousands of doctors to sign an open letter of support for Dr Bawa-Garba stating the case would "lessen our chances of preventing a similar death".

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