Hospital patients recalled for tests checks in alert a

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A HOSPITAL is checking the records of more than 2,000 patients treated by an ear nose and throat surgeon after concerns were raised by other doctors about his competence.

Julian Upton, 62, who worked at the Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset, for 38 years, retired on medical advice last month. The hospital said yesterday it would be reporting him to the General Medical Council.

Mr Upton had been on leave since February and the hospital had set up an internal inquiry into his practice after receiving a letter from fellow ENT consultants last October.

Two independent surgeons called in to review 21 patients treated by him recommended last month that two categories of patients should be checked - those with chronic ear conditions and salivary gland problems, including tumours. Twelve patients have been recalled for further tests and MRI scans. In addition, the records of 2,200 people seen by Mr Upton as outpatients over the past year are to be reviewed.

About 700 patients have so far been checked and early indications are that one in 10 will need further tests. A hotline for anxious patients has been set up; the number is 01823-343798.