UK & World News
Surgeon Suspended Over 'Avoidable Deaths'
A specialist liver surgeon has been suspended over the "avoidable deaths" of eight patients in south Wales.
Consultant surgeon David Paul Berry, based at University Hospital Wales, has been banned by the General Medical Council (GMC) from doing any further liver surgery.
It follows a professional review of 31 of his patients, which found 10 went on to die, and "eight of those 10 deaths were avoidable".
Dr Berry, who moved to work in Wales from the Leicester area, was active with the health board for 18 months before he was suspended.
Concerns were first raised through the normal monitoring procedures at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board in October 2012.
Officials identified concerns about the care and treatment of a number of patients who had undergone liver surgery led by the consultant.
As a result, Dr Berry was immediately placed on restrictive practice while an internal investigation was carried out.
The findings were serious enough for Dr Berry to be fully suspended while he was referred to the GMC.
A team from the Royal College of Surgeons was called in and an in-depth investigation carried out. It uncovered the eight "avoidable deaths" linked to his surgery.
Bosses at the health board revealed the full extent of their findings as the partner of one of the eight began legal action to find out exactly what happened.
Martyn Rogers, 66, from Newport, south Wales, died of blood poisoning and acute liver failure at University Hospital Wales last year.
Within three days of undergoing a liver surgery procedure, his organs began shutting down and it was discovered one of his major veins had been damaged.
His death came one week after surgeon Dr Berry removed tumours from his liver.
Maria Davies, his partner of 40 years, has instructed medical law experts to launch their own investigation.
Dr Graham Shortland, medical director of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: "Every death is a tragedy for the family concerned, but we do not underestimate the impact of a death in these circumstances.
"We would like at the outset to put on record our unreserved apologies to Ms Davies, and every family who has been affected."
:: The health board has set up a helpline for anyone concerned about the surgical care they received in relation to liver surgery between February 2011 and October 2012. The number is 0800 952 0244.
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