Grilled by police to point of exhaustion

Surgeon Mr David Sellu, convicted for gross negligence manslaughter of a patient – overturned on appeal after a 30-month prison sentence – continues his story from our last issue.

30 November 2010

A month after the inquest, in the light of the coroner’s decision to refer my case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), I was summoned to appear again in front of the GMC, in Manchester.

My wife Catherine and I arrived and took the lift to the seventh floor. While we waited, I Googled to see who was appearing in front of the regulator that day: all were doctors like myself, with foreign names.

The accusation that a larger proportion of ethnic doctors was being investigated by the GMC was one I had heard levelled for years; nothing seemed to have changed. 

At least an acknowledgment by the GMC that this disparity existed and was causing disquiet among foreign doctors would have gone some way to address the concerns, but none had been made. As before, the GMC was still acting as accuser and judge, something that was set to change in the course of time.

We were now forced to wait two-and-a-half hours until my case was called. GMC rules clearly state that no expert should make a judgment on a case based on the conclusions by others and he must refer to original notes on which to base his conclusions. In spite of this, the GMC now accepted a general surgeon’s opinion on this case and proceeded to put conditions on my licence preventing me from doing any private work.