Petition started following Honey Rose trial

A petition into using the gross negligence manslaughter charge in criminal cases against healthcare workers has been established

26 Jul 2016 by Emily McCormick

A neurologist, who describes himself as having an interest in human rights and politics, has started a petition to address the use of ‘gross negligence manslaughter’ in cases against healthcare workers.

Dr David Nicholl, a consultant neurologist at City Hospital Birmingham, created the petition last Thursday (21 July). The petition was launched by Mr Nicholl after the conviction of optometrist Honey Rose, amid concern that “the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is taking a much harder line against healthcare professionals.”

Ms Rose was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following the death of eight-year-old Vincent Barker, who died in July 2012 after fluid built up in his brain. Five months earlier he had attended an eye examination performed by Ms Rose.

In a statement of the petition site, Dr Nicholl writes: “For the avoidance of doubt, none of us would support neglect of our patients. However, we remain very concerned that the CPS' approach will set back years of effort to encourage transparency when things go wrong in healthcare.”

Dr Nicholl intends to submit the petition as an open letter to the Academic of Medical Royal Colleges and the Department of Justice in a bid to encourage the organsiations to review the use of gross negligence manslaughter charges against healthcare workers, as well as the use of expert witnesses.

He has also said that the letter will be submitted to a national newspaper on the day that Ms Rose is sentenced.

To date, the petition has attracted more than 1300 signatures.

The petition can be viewed and signed online.

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    Anonymous

    No one would support neglect of any patients. Miss Rose had missed the diagnosis of papilloedema which caused a death of a child. The death of any patient is very frightening and distressing. Sometimes examining a child is quite challenging. Many of them get very distracted very easily. Optometrists perform lots of tests on each child after taking a thorough history e.g. check the monocular VA, Cover test @ Distance & Near, Motility Test, Pupils reflexes, NPC, Objective and Subjective refraction, Colour Vision, Stereopsis T, examining the anterior segment with slit lamp and finally examining the posterior segment by direct or indirect ophthalmoscope depend on the child's age. Many children get distracted and tired very easily and they don't follow the instructions. It is not practical to dilate the pupils of each child because it is an invasive technique and we don't request it if it is unnecessary. When I read the case briefly I gathered that series of misfortune occurred in Ms Rose case. 1. The computer wasn't working in her room on that day. 2. When she went outside to look the photos which were taken by one of the staff, they showed her a different one. 3. The optic discs of the wrong patient were healthy. 4. the clinic might have been a very busy clinic as well I am not saying what happened was right but series of misfortune, It is extremely hard but we are human being and we all make mistakes. It is a continuous learning process

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