Glasgow & West Scotland

Concerns raised over surgeon after 'below standard' operation

Monklands Hospital Image copyright Getty Images

The General Medical Council should be made aware of concerns about a surgeon who carried out an operation which went wrong, a report has said.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman said the problem could have been avoided if the surgeon had exercised reasonable skill and care.

It followed a complaint from a patient at Monklands University Hospital in Lanarkshire.

The woman said she had not been told of serious risks in the procedure.

NHS Lanarkshire said it had apologised to the patient, and was implementing the recommendations made by the ombudsman.

No explanation

The patient, known only as Ms C, suffered a major vascular injury during an operation to remove her gallbladder.

She became unstable in recovery and needed to return to theatre for open surgery to repair tears in her bowel and an artery. She required a large blood transfusion.

Image copyright Getty Images

Ms C said she had been told the procedure was a simple keyhole operation, but had received no explanation of the small risk of major vascular injury, or what actions would have been necessary in the event of a serious complication.

The ombudsman, Rosemary Agnew, upheld her complaint.

Ms C also complained about the mistake made during her surgery.

The ombudsman's report said: "We considered that the major vascular injury could have been avoided if the operating surgeon had exercised reasonable skill and care.

"In technical delivery, decision-making and note-keeping, the surgical care provided during the operation fell seriously below the standard we would expect of a reasonably competent consultant general surgeon."

'Sincere apologies'

In a series of recommendations the ombudsman said NHS Lanarkshire should contact the General Medical Council to make them aware of concerns about the surgeon, who was unable to be questioned because they had been on a period of extended leave from which they had not returned.

The report said if the consultant was now practicing outwith the UK, the regulator in that country should be advised.

The board, which was criticised for the way it had responded to the complaint, was also told to apologise to Ms C.

Dr John Keaney, NHS Lanarkshire's acute divisional medical director, said: "We regret any instance where we fail to provide the highest standards of care for our patients and have contacted the complainant directly to offer our sincere apologies for the failings identified in the report.

"We are in the process of implementing the recommendations and improvements identified by the ombudsman.

"The lessons learned will be shared to help avoid similar occurrences in future."