The decision follows a ‘lightning rod’ case earlier this year which saw the Court of Appeal quash a GMC bid to have Dr Bawa-Garba struck off the medical register following her conviction for gross negligence manslaughter conviction.
Instead, it was ruled that Dr Bawa-Garba’s original sanction of a 12-month suspension - imposed by the MPTS - was adequate.
However, the MPTS has now ruled that Dr Bawa-Garba should be ‘subject to a further period of suspension for six months’ in addition to the year-long suspension she has already received, which expires at the end of the year.
The MPTS said the extension was agreed by both the GMC and Dr Bawa-Garba, who said she felt ‘unable to attend a public hearing at present due to personal circumstances.’
Her case will be reviewed again before the additional six months’ suspension is concluded in July 2019 to determine whether any further action is needed.
In 2017, the MPTS determined that an initial 12-month suspension was an appropriate sanction for Dr Bawa-Garba, but directed that her case be ‘reviewed’ before the end of that period.
The 2017 tribunal stated: ‘For the purposes of that review, Dr Bawa-Garba may wish to submit: evidence that she has kept her medical knowledge up to date; evidence that she has reflected on the tribunal’s findings and further evidence of reflection and insight into her actions; up-to-date references and testimonials, and any other evidence that Dr Bawa-Garba feels may be relevant.’
However, MPTS chair Mr Stephen Kille said that ‘no evidence is currently available to address the remaining concerns of the 2017 tribunal as to Dr Bawa-Garba’s fitness to practise’.
He added: ‘Having again considered all of the evidence presented to me, together with the submissions of the parties, I am satisfied that, in the circumstances as they stand today, a further period of suspension is appropriate and proportionate and would be sufficient to protect the public and the public interest.’