It has been widely reported that the General Medical Council (GMC) has banned consultant surgeon David Paul Berry, based at University Hospital Wales, from doing any further liver surgery. The surgeon, who moved to work in Wales from the Leicester area, started work at University Hospital Wales in February 2011.
Concerns were first raised through the normal monitoring procedures at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board in October 2012. Officials identified concerns about the care and treatment of a number of patients who had undergone liver surgery led by the consultant. As a result, Dr Berry was placed on restrictive practice whilst an internal investigation was carried out.
The findings of this review led to Dr Berry to be fully suspended in January 2013 and he was referred to the GMC. A team from the Royal College of Surgeons was called in and an in-depth investigation carried out. The independent review of 31 of his patients treated whilst with the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, found that 10 of these had died, and “eight of those 10 deaths were avoidable”.
Bosses at the health board revealed the full extent of their findings as the partner of one of the eight patients who were identified began legal action to find out exactly what happened.
It is reported that Martyn Rogers, 66, of Newport, south Wales, died of blood poisoning and acute liver failure in summer 2012 at University Hospital Wales. Within three days of undergoing a liver surgery procedure, his organs began shutting down and it was discovered one of his major veins had been damaged. His death on 25 July came one week after Berry carried out the operation to remove tumours from his liver.
Although concerns were first raised in Cardiff, Dr Berry had previously worked in Leicester for around 10 years, so it may be that many more patients are affected. His former employer in Leicester has also launched an independent review.
In a statement, The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said some of Professor David Berry’s results were “lower than expected.” They say that there may be a number of reasons why this may be the case, so have commissioned an independent review by the Royal College of Surgeons into his work at its hospitals.