Consultant surgeon, Prof David Paul Berry, a specialist liver surgeon based at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff has been suspended. He has been linked to a series of 'avoidable deaths' following surgery, amid concerns regarding 'poor judgement' and 'technical errors'.
Prof Berry had previously worked in the Leicester area but subsequently moved to south Wales. It is reported that he was originally put on restricted practice in October 2012 following concerns about the outcomes of some patients under his care. It emerged that Prof Berry had been suspended in January 2013 and that two subsequent independent reviews by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) followed. One of the RCS reviews of 31 patients discovered that 10 later died, eight of which were thought to be avoidable. One of those deaths considered to be avoidable was that of Martyn Rogers, 66, who died of blood poisoning and acute liver failure on 25 July 2012, only a week after undergoing surgery by Prof Berry to remove tumours from his liver at the University Hospital of Wales.
Dr Shortland of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said that the health board picked up 'anomalies' in the surgeon's results from 'routine clinical data' which was scrutinised. He added: "We have worked with the Royal College of Surgeons and our own staff to make sure we are clear about the numbers of people whose care and treatment may have been affected by this issue. We appreciate this is a worrying time for patients and their families and would like to reassure patients who are receiving or awaiting liver surgery at the moment that the UHB has full confidence in the current liver service at the University Hospital of Wales."
A helpline number has been set up – anyone with concerns can telephone 0800 952 0244. The line will be open from 12noon to 8pm from 11 to 13 December 2013.