Concerns over the quality of surgery performed by a London Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who is apparently suspended and being investigated by the GMC raise questions about accountability within the NHS.
It is reported that the treatment given to 2000 women who have been treated over the last 10 years is under review and that mistakes were found in 66 of 255 cases examined.
For one surgeon’s performance to fall short is alarming. It is even more alarming that it should be necessary to carry out a review going back 10 years. Everybody, however senior, needs to be under someone else’s supervision and accountable for the quality of their work.
A review of care now over a 10 year period suggests that accountability was lacking. Further other staff must have known there was a problem. Surgery is a team effort involving junior as well as senior surgeons, anaesthetists, nursing and theatre staff. It is difficult to imagine that one surgeon had a high error rate without others realising. Why did not one speak up earlier or, if they did, why were they not heard?