South East Wales

Helpline set up for Cardiff liver surgeon patients takes 74 calls

Prof David Paul Berry
Image caption Prof David Paul Berry was suspended in January

A total of 74 people have run a helpline set up for patients treated by a liver surgeon linked to the "avoidable" deaths of eight people.

Prof David Paul Berry was suspended from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff in January after several reviews.

One review found that eight deaths of patients in his care were "avoidable".

South Wales Police is examining the cases to see whether an investigation was appropriate.

Prof Berry, who moved to work in south Wales from the Leicester area, was originally stopped from carrying out complex surgery in October 2012 following concerns about the outcomes of some liver patients in his care.

Independent reviews

An initial internal investigation confirmed the health board's concerns and he was fully suspended from duties in January.

Two further independent reviews by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) followed.

The second review, of the individual care of 31 patients who had complex liver surgery by Prof Berry, found 10 had later died. Eight of those deaths were avoidable.

It has since emerged he was suspended at the same time from Spire Cardiff Hospital where he had a private practice.

The health board has issued "unreserved apologies" to those affected.

The Conservative AM for South Wales Central Andrew RT Davies, said on Friday that senior staff at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board need to "seriously reflect on their positions".

He added: "We want to see a full and open public Keogh-style inquiry that will identify problems so that they can be properly addressed."

The health board said eight people had run the helpline set up for worried patients and families on Friday, 24 on Thursday and 42 on Wednesday.

The helpline has now closed.

Before moving to Wales, Prof Berry was based at Leicester General Hospital from 1999 to 2011.

A separate helpline - 0808 178 8337 - is open there until further notice.

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