Leading article: Keep in practice

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The Independent Online

Today's research from Imperial College suggesting some surgeons are so poor at their jobs that one in two of their operations fail, is alarming. Even though it will be very few surgeons, how can they be permitted to continue operating? And what are their patients told?

Mostly, these will be surgeons doing very small numbers of operations, possibly as emergencies, for which they lack the necessary expertise. This invites an obvious response – there should be a ban on surgeons doing operations unless they complete a specified minimum number each year. The safety of patients demands it.