A consultant surgeon who removed the wrong kidney from a patient who later died was charged with manslaughter yesterday.

John Roberts, a consultant urologist, was suspended from his duties by Carmarthenshire NHS Trust after the operation on Graham Reeves at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, in January last year.

Mr Reeves, whose remaining kidney was diseased, died in March 2000.

The incident prompted two investigations by the trust and by the Royal College of Surgeons, but neither has been published.

Mike Jones, chief executive of Carmarthenshire NHS Trust, said: "We have not been in a position to publish any summary of findings of the reports because of ongoing investigations on behalf of the coroner and by Dyfed Powys Police. However, it is important to emphasise that the trust responded rapidly to the critical incident in theatre and drew up a comprehensive action plan in response to the two reports."

Earlier this year, after a routine inspection, the Commission for Health Improvement, the Government's NHS watchdog, commended theatre staff "for the positive way in which they have sought to address the issues arising out of very tragic circumstances".

Mr Jones added: "We have maintained contact with Mr Reeves's family and we will continue to co-operate fully with the police and other appropriate organisations."

Mr Roberts is due to appear at Llanelli magistrates' court on Friday next week.