Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Doctor tells GMC of errors

A GYNAECOLOGIST accused of a catalogue of blunders went against "basic surgical procedures," a General Medical Committee hearing was told yesterday.

Rodney Ledward, 58, a consultant who faces being struck off, is alleged to have perforated a patient's bladder and blocked a tube from her kidneys during a hysterectomy.

The hearing was told that the woman, known only as patient 4, was clearly bleeding after the procedure, but the surgeon did not investigate the cause. Instead he ordered a test, turned off his mobile phone and left St Saviour's private hospital in Hythe, Kent, after the operation in January 1996.

Consultant surgeon Charles Derry said he was called to see the woman, who was left leaking urine after an operation where her healthy ovaries were removed without consent.

Mr Derry, from Saltwood, Kent, said she was suffering from a damaged ureter tube leading from her kidneys to her bladder. He tried unsuccessfully to pass a tube to her kidney, but could not get it through because of a blockage. Instead, he had to put in a "stent" as a temporary measure until an operation could repair the damage done by Mr Ledward.

Mr Derry condemned Mr Ledward for allegedly delegating an inexperienced locum registrar to perform a difficult operation on an obese 17-stone woman who had an abscess in her womb, then failing to take action as her condition deteriorated.

After the operation, which Mr Ledward allegedly delegated, the woman's wound "burst as she was being wheeled to the operating theatre for an emergency operation", he said.

Dr Hugh Bradfield, a consultant anaesthetist for 18 years, spoke about private patient 10. Mr Ledward allegedly told her that the NHS would not grant her request for an epidural and for her husband to be present. Dr Bradfield said such a request normally would have been granted.

The hearing continues.