Saturday, 22 August 2009

Suspended Baby P doctor allowed to work in Ireland

Saturday August 15 2009

The doctor who has been suspended from practising in the UK after failing to spot Baby P's broken back two days before he died is still entitled to work in Ireland.

Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat was the last medic to see tragic toddler Baby P and failed to notice his injuries – inflicted after horrendous abuse by his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

Dr Al-Zayyat (53) was suspended from practising by the General Medical Council in the UK last November while an investigation takes place.

In August 2007, Dr Sabah Al- Zayyat was the last medic to see tragic toddler Baby P and failed to notice he had fractured ribs and a broken back.

She said she was unable to conduct a full medical examination of the 17-month old because the child was “miserable and cranky”.

However the toddler had a snapped spine and eight fractured ribs, the victim of horrendous abuse by his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

A spokesperson for the Irish Medical Council told the Herald: “Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat’s name is entered on the General Division of the Register of Medical Practitioners and as such she is entitled to work in Ireland.

“The Medical Council is aware of matters under consideration by the General Medical Council that are in the public domain.”

Meanwhile, it is understood that Dr Al-Zayyat is suing Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, for unfair dismissal following the decision not to renew her fixed term contract.

She is expected to claim that she was never shown the child’s medical history and so was not given an opportunity to realise he was the long-term victim of abuse.

Her case may also focus on a shortage of doctors at St Ann’s Hospital in Tottenham, which is run by the Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust.

Lawyers are also likely to argue that she is a scapegoat for wider failings in the child’s care. Last year she issued a statement saying: “Like everyone involved in this case, I have been deeply affected by the shocking and tragic circumstances of this young child’s death.”

She added that her professional career had been devoted to the care of children. Baby P, whose name has recently been revealed as Peter, died after months of sadistic torture in one of the worst cases of child abuse the UK has ever seen.

This week, the identities of his mother and her sadistic lover, who were jailed for the death of Baby P, were finally revealed.

Tracey Connelly (28) and her boyfriend Steven Barker (33) were jailed for causing or allowing the death of 17-month-old Peter Connelly in his bloodspattered room in Haringey, North London.


He had suffered dozens of injuries after months of abuse at the time of his death, including a broken back and fractured ribs.

The media had been prevented from naming the couple since last year when they were convicted of causing or allowing the death of Peter.

The lifting of the ban on identification, a week after the second anniversary of the death of Baby P, also meant that Jason Owen, the third defendant, who was a lodger in the house, could be identified as the brother of Barker.

Owen was also convicted over Baby P’s death, but there was no ban on naming him. Dr Al-Zayyat has previously worked in a number of hospitals in Ireland between 1999 and 2006.

They HSE told the Herald that it has no records of complaints against her.