Anger at lifting of heart doctor's ban
Thursday 20 June 2002
Patients reacted angrily yesterday to the medical profession's decision to allow a surgeon in the Bristol heart babies scandal to resume unsupervised operations.
Janardan Dhasmana was banned from child surgery and unsupervised heart surgery for three years after the scandal at Bristol Royal Infirmary, which left 29 children dead and four brain damaged between 1988 and 1995.
Last year he was given permission to carry out heart surgery as part of his retraining, provided he was supervised and did not operate on children. On Tuesday the General Medical Council ruled he could begin unsupervised heart surgery again after he undertook never to perform heart operations on children.
After the ruling, Steve Parker, of the Bristol Heart Children's Action Group, said the families were "very disappointed" by the decision, which was a "serious worry".
"We don't agree with the overall ruling but it's a bit of a mixed result because effectively it does say that if Mr Dhasmana breaks his undertaking then that would constitute serious professional misconduct," he said.
"It means he cannot work on children ever again, which is what we wanted, but he's free to work on adults unsupervised and that is an issue of patient safety. The GMC has given the doctor the benefit of the doubt and has not put patient safety first," he said.
The deaths of so many children at the Bristol hospital led to a multi-million pound inquiry which recommended more open and accountable behaviour by surgeons.
Mr Dhasmana was found guilty of serious professional misconduct and banned from child operations, though he was not stopped from operating on adults. His colleague James Wisheart and the hospital's chief executive John Roylance were both struck off.
A spokeswoman for the General Medical Council said Mr Dhasmana had not operated on children for more than six years and would in effect be barred from child heart surgery because of the time gap.
The GMC's Professional Conduct Committee said Mr Dhasmana's consultant at Newcastle praised him as "a conscientious and good colleague". Mr Dhasmana's lawyer said the surgeon, now in his 60s, was relieved by the ruling. "Mr Dhasmana wishes to express once again his deepest sympathy for the families who have lost a child," he said.
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) leaked pictures show similarities to older model — but Apple is fixing the biggest issue of all
People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
Google has set its terrifying, dreaming image robots on the public
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 5 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...