BMA Makes Recommendations On Dealing With GNM Cases
The British Medical Association (BMA) has issued a series of recommendations on how it believes cases of gross negligence manslaughter (GNM) should be dealt with going forward.
The organisation’s statement comes after health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt commissioned a rapid policy review into the issue, which is being carried out by Sir Norman Williams.
Among the recommendations made by the BMA are that a national police unit is set up to deal solely with cases of GNM, and that GNM cases in healthcare should only be referred following a consultation with the chief coroner.
It also stressed that the “test for bringing a prosecution is a difficult balancing act”, and as such the Director of Public Prosecutions should personally authorise all prosecutions for GNM in a healthcare setting.
Pulse Today reported that in its oral submission to the review earlier this month, the BMA’s representatives expressed concern that the General Medical Council (GMC) has a right to appeal decisions delivered by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).
The BMA stated that it believes the GMC’s right to appeal “risks undermining doctors’ confidence in the independence and fairness of the MPTS”.
Mr Hunt ordered the review in February, following the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case earlier this year. The MPTS decision allowed Dr Bawa-Garba to remain on the medical register, but the GMC challenged the ruling and had her struck off, prompting an outcry from fellow doctors.
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