Baby P doctor must face GMC hearing

Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat asked to be removed from medical register, but GMC refuse, saying her misconduct case must be heard

A DOCTOR accused of failing to spot Baby Peter was suffering from a broken spine has today lost her appeal to be removed from the medical register.

Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat, 54 - the last medical professional to see Peter Connelly alive at St Ann’s Hospital on August 1 2007 - was due to face disciplinary action over her alleged negligence a fortnight ago, but an application for voluntary erasure was submitted.

After two weeks of private deliberation a General Medical Council panel today announced it rejected Al-Zayyat’s request.

Panel chair Ralph Bergmann said: “The panel considers that to accede to the application for voluntary erasure would avoid a public, and necessary, examination of the facts.”

A previous application for voluntary erasure was turned down in September.

Al-Zayyat had been working as a locum consultant community paediatrician when she failed to carry out a full examination of the Baby Peter and noted he appeared “miserable and cranky”.

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Two days later the 17-month-old was found dead suffering more than 50 injuries including a broken back and eight fractured ribs.

His mother, Tracey Connelly, 28, her boyfriend Steven Barker, 33, and his brother Jason Owen, 37, were jailed at the Old Bailey last year for causing or allowing his death.

Al-Zayyat is accused of a knowing Peter was on the child protection register but failing to carry out an adequate examination, failing to investigate the explanation offered for his injuries and failing to record whether she considered the possibility he was the victim of child abuse.

It is also alleged she failed to diagnose Peter had suffered physical abuse, possible neglect and emotional abuse, or arrange for him to be admitted to hospital.

She was originally due to face misconduct allegations in February over her treatment of the little boy but the hearing was adjourned after a GMC fitness to practice panel heard she was ‘suicidal’ and ‘unfit to defend herself’ or instruct solicitors.

Her representative Mary O’Rourke announced they would apply to the High Court for a judicial review of the panel’s decision. The hearing was adjourned until Thursday.