When Healthcare Becomes a Crime
Defending Bawa-Garba: When Healthcare Becomes a Crime with Jenny Vaughan
Delivery of safe healthcare currently faces unprecedented challenges in the UK and globally. This arises, at least partly, from a rising involvement of the criminal law in the investigation of medical errors apparently conflicting with the need to respect a ‚’duty of candour’. As a result, doctors face enormous pressures in fear of being blamed for medical errors.
Dr Jenny Vaughan, has been Consultant Neurologist for 15 years (NW London Hospitals NHS Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS trust, London). She was the medical lead for the successful over-turning of the conviction of Surgeon Mr David Sellu for gross negligence manslaughter in 2013. The medico-legal appeal team subsequently won the prestigious ‘crime team of the year award’ at The Modern Law Awards (2018).
Her work in bringing those in the field together was published and recently cited editorially in the BMJ.She has become a leading voice of the UK medical profession on this subject. She has vocalised the concerns of the whole profession with respect to medical manslaughter in mainstream media. She has been a keynote speaker at multiple events, most especially since the overturning of the erasure decision in the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.
Dr Vaughan has published widely-read articles on the impact of the criminal law on healthcare. She has conducted surveys of the medical profession in order to assess the impact of the criminal law on healthcare. Her findings have informed law-makers, politicians, the media, the BMA, the royal colleges and the profession in general. She co-founded the first UK online resource for anyone to access who wishes to know more about the charges of gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare www.medicalmanslaughter.co.uk.
She sits on the medico legal committee of the BMA and is an exec member for law and policy for The Doctor’s Association UK. She hopes to improve patient safety by continuing in these roles and also raising awareness of the need for a ‘just culture’ amongst patients, organisations and healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom and beyond.
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