Chief of Great Ormond Street takes name off medical registerBMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4656 (Published 25 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4656
Jane Collins, the chief executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, has removed her name from the medical register, it has emerged.
A newspaper article published at the weekend claiming that the decision was taken to avoid the possibility of future investigation by the General Medical Council has been flatly denied by the trust and Dr Collins.
The trust was criticised last year by England’s healthcare watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, for how it handled the case of 17 month old Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, who died in 2007 after suffering numerous injuries inflicted by his stepfather (BMJ 2009;338:b1967, doi:10.1136/bmj.b1967).
The boy was seen a few days before his death by a consultant paediatrician at St Ann’s Hospital in north London, which was run by Great Ormond Street staff, but the staff there failed to spot that his back was broken. The trust was also criticised for appointing staff without the required experience in child protection and not giving them appropriate training.
Dr Collins, a qualified neurologist who has not carried out clinical practice as a doctor for nine years, has acknowledged that she decided to take her name off the medical register in June.
In an interview with the Sunday Express on 22 August Dr Collins insisted that her decision to remove her name from the register was not connected with criticism of her management at the hospital (www.express.co.uk/posts/view/194710/Baby-P-hospital-chief-takes-herself-off-doctors-register-to-avoid-blame-case-).
The hospital denied claims that in May a group of 40 consultants at the trust signed a letter that said they had no confidence in Dr Collins and that it was submitted to the trust and the strategic health authority (NHS London).
A trust spokeswoman told the BMJ: “There has not been a letter of no confidence in Dr Jane Collins and her managers signed by 40 consultants.
“Great Ormond Street did not receive any letters of complaint. However, we did receive letters of support for Dr Collins by 122 consultants within two weeks of this matter arising.”
The spokeswoman added: “GOSH has never tried to hide its involvement in the tragic death of Baby Peter.
“Dr Collins apologised at the time of the trial verdict [convicting members of Baby P’s family for causing or allowing the death of a child] and accepted our failings in the case.
“There have been many independent investigations into the role of Great Ormond Street Hospital and other healthcare providers involved in the case of Baby Peter. This includes the Care Quality Commission report published in May 2009.”
Dr Collins, quoted in the Sunday Express, said, “I haven’t practised as a doctor for nine years now. I kept my name on the register for so long because I had worked so hard to get there but I decided to take my name off this year.
“I know there are consultants who were unhappy but many others became extremely concerned by this and didn’t agree with their colleagues and have expressed their support. I am not saying everything I’ve done is right but it’s important to recognise when you are not doing well, you need to improve.”
A General Medical Council spokeswoman told the BMJ that Dr Collins had not renewed her place on the register in June and added: “Every year all doctors will get a renewal letter asking for their annual fee, and sometimes they decide not to renew it.”
Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4656