Legal fund for Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba raises more than £300,000

A crowdfunding appeal in support of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba - struck off after what campaigners have called an 'unforgivable' High Court ruling last month - has raised more than £300,000.

Almost 10,000 people had pledged a total of £313,500 by Monday 5 February to support a legal challenge against the GMC's decision to strike off Dr Bawa-Garba.

The successful fundraising campaign came as doctors protested outside GMC offices in London on Saturday before joining a thousands-strong march to defend the NHS.

Protesters were due to deliver a letter to GMC chair Professor Terence Stephenson, warning that the regulator's approach to the case of Dr Bawa-Garba risked discouraging medical trainees from pursuing careers in medical specialties associated with higher risk.

GMC protest

Calling on GMC chief executive to resign, consultant Dr David Nicholl wrote: 'It is with regret that I have cancelled my direct debit and return my GMC certificate as this is the only legitimate form of protest I have to object to the GMCs behaviour in recent days, which is reducing public confidence in the practice of medicine as well as affecting patient safety.'

One of the doctors behind the crowdfunding campaign, Dr Moosa Qureshi, said: ''There needs to be greater transparency as to why these decisions were made and who made them. Many of us feel that Dr Bawa-Garba was unfairly discriminated against and scapegoated for multiple system failings that could easily have happened to any of us in the current political crisis of the NHS.

'We want patients to be protected and for this doctors need to be able to look after patients without fear that they will be blamed or worse struck off when working in unsafe and dangerous conditions.'

Some GPs are boycotting reflective entries for appraisal over concerns about the role that reflection by Dr Bawa-Garba played in a conviction for manslaughter against her following the 2011 death of six-year-old Jack Adcock.

Honest appraisal

Thousands of GPs have also signed a letter warning that the decision to strike off Dr Bawa-Garba risks frightening 'doctors of all grades away from honest self-appraisal'.

The defence organisation that represents Dr Bawa-Garba - the Medical Protection Society - has said that evidence from her e-portfolio was not used against her.

The GMC announced last week that it recognised a 'critical need' to review issues around how medical manslaughter cases are initiated and investigated.

Professor Stephenson said: ‘We recognise the strength of feeling expressed by many doctors, and we are listening to those concerns.

‘We are not blind to the challenging conditions in which doctors have to work. We recognise that any doctor, no matter how experienced, can make a mistake, particularly when working under pressure. We are determined to do everything possible to bring positive improvements out of this issue.’

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