Doctor Still Able To Practice Despite Baby Death
The parents of a child that died from massive injuries just hours after being born have spoken of their anger at the General Medical Council's decision to dismiss their claim against the Doctor who delivered him.
Carla and John Bradbrooks' son Joshua died at the Darent Valley hospital in Kent in 2005 following a series of errors in his delivery, overseen by registrar Dr Mohlala. The baby was born with fractures to both sides of his skull, after signs of his distress were ignored and several attempts were made to force the birth with both a suction device and forceps.
With the help of Clinical Negligence experts Irwin Mitchell, after a protracted legal battle the Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust admitted liability in December of last year; however the Bradbrooks want Dr Mohlala to take full responsibility for his errors.
Mrs Bradbook said: "We are appalled that the GMC think Dr Mohlala is still fit to practice. It is scary to think he can just walk into another labour ward whenever he likes. We would be sickened if any other parents have to go through the pain that we have."
The GMC refused to re-open the case on the grounds that they found no proof that Dr Mohlala was unfit to practice, despite there being several flaws unveiled in his version of events. He claims that he only attempted to remove the baby using the ventouse suction device three times but witnesses say he administered the procedure six times - twice the recommended number, and they called the Consultant because they were so concerned. Evidence at the Inquest suggested that Dr Mohlala may have had encountered difficulties in the past in performing caesarean sections.
The first stage of Mrs Bradbrook's labour was quick, but slowed significantly during the second stage. The trust's internal investigation indicated that Joshua was in distress and had an abnormal heartbeat; symptoms that Dr Mohlala failed to react promptly to at the time.
A full forty-five minutes elapsed before Mrs Bradbrook was transferred to the hospital's delivery suite for attempts with instruments to assist the birth. According to the midwives and the medical records, Dr Mohlala gave six 'pulls' with the ventouse suction device. When this failed, he unsuccessfully administered forceps, finally giving Mrs Bradbrook a c-section after having to force Joshua back up the birth canal.
Anita Murphy-O’Reilly, solicitor at Irwin Mitchell commented: "This case is truly heart-wrenching. The GMC’s unwillingness to re-open the case and assess whether Dr Mohlala is responsible for Joshua's death has meant that the Bradbrooks have been unable to move on with their lives. At Irwin Mitchell we want to see those who were accountable for this baby's death take responsibility for their errors, and allow the Bradbrooks the closure that they deserve."