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Bristol heart scandal surgeon is dismissed

JANARDAN DHASMANA, one of the surgeons at the centre of the Bristol heart babies scandal, has been sacked, it was announced last night.

A General Medical Council inquiry found Mr Dhasmana guilty of serious professional misconduct over the deaths of 29 babies at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Another four babies were left seriously brain damaged after heart surgery.

The other two surgeons involved, James Wisheart and Dr John Roylance, were both struck off, but Mr Dhasmana was banned from performing heart surgery on children for three years.

A spokeswoman for Bristol Royal Infirmary said: "The United Bristol Healthcare Trust today announced that it had, with regret, terminated the contract of employment of Mr Janardan Dhasmana. The decision has been made by Hugh Ross, chief executive of the Trust. Mr Dhasmana has the right of appeal against the decision to a panel of non-executive directors of the UBHT.

"In view of Mr Dhasmana's right of appeal, the trust will make no further comment at this stage."

Maria Shortis, founder of the Bristol Heart Children's Action Group and whose daughter died during surgery at the hospital, was delighted by the news. She said: "What a relief, this is not before time. It is the only decision they could have made. I cannot tell you how relieved I am that he will not be allowed to carry out any more operations."

Malcolm Curnow, of the action group, said: "Under the circumstances we feel this is wholly appropriate. His position was untenable. But there is nothing to stop him from working at another hospital or setting up at a private clinic. This gives us cause for concern. He should have been struck off by the GMC as the other two doctors involved were."