HSE suspends surgeon over poor care allegations

One of main Dublin hospitals noticed high level of complications in consultant’s cases

It is alleged the care provided by the surgeon to a number of surgical patients resulted in complications and/or poor outcomes. Photograph: Getty Images

It is alleged the care provided by the surgeon to a number of surgical patients resulted in complications and/or poor outcomes. Photograph: Getty Images

 

A consultant surgeon in the Ireland East Hospital Group has been suspended after allegations were made of poor management of up to 18 of his patients, two of whom died.

The surgeon has been placed on administrative leave after it was alleged he failed to provide proper care for some patients who required treatment, and treated other patients inappropriately.

The cases include alleged care failings in the case of a gynaecology patient with sepsis who subsequently died.

The surgeon is accused of mismanaging the care of a seven-year-old girl with appendicitis, and of a patient with extensive facial injuries.

It is alleged the care provided by the surgeon to a number of surgical patients resulted in complications and/or poor outcomes.

Cancer patients

Individual cases involve patients who had their spleens removed – one of whom died – patients with serious bowel problems and cancer patients.

In some cases, treatments were either not done quickly enough or were not required, it is alleged.

The allegations relate to a one-year period from April 2016, after the consultant returned to general surgery.

He had previously been suspended five years earlier but was certified as fit to return to work last year.

The alleged issues were picked up when one of the main Dublin hospitals noticed a higher than expected level of complications in cases handled by the consultant.

Asked about the placement of the surgeon on administrative leave, the Ireland East Hospital Group said: “It is our priority to be at the frontier of compassion, concern and clinical care for all our patients. In order to protect patient and staff confidentiality, we do not comment on individual cases”.

The HSE informed the surgeon he was being placed on administrative leave, under the terms of its disciplinary procedure, by letter last month.

The consultant, who trained in Ireland, failed to attend monthly audit meetings, it is also alleged.

Under the terms of the HSE’s disciplinary procedures, staff on administrative leave generally receive full pay pending the outcome of any investigation.