Laurence Vick
Posted on 12 Dec 2013

Liver Surgeon David Berry Banned

Avoidable deaths among patients of experienced liver surgeon

A respected consultant surgeon, regarded as a specialist in his field, has been banned from liver operations by the General Medical Council (GMC), after analysis of clinical data suggested avoidable deaths among his patients.

Berry spent only 18 active months on the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board before being suspended at the beginning of 2013, and it is reported that concerns over his surgical outcomes were raised within 6 months of his starting at the hospital. Following the internal investigation, Berry was referred to the GMC.

A review of his patients had found that a third of those sampled had died, and that the majority of those deaths had been avoidable. South Wales Police says it is consulting the Crown Prosecution Service over the issue.

Berry had previously worked at Leicester General Hospital for over a decade, leading to concerns that his patients there may too have been harmed. A review of his Leicester patients is to be carried out by the Royal College of Surgeons.

You can read the Guardian article on David Berry's suspension here.

The Leicester Mercury's article on Berry can be found here.

Mortality Data

Despite on-going debates over interpretative methods, mortality data are crucial to exposing systemic failings, in both individual surgeons and entire departments. For a personal account of a whistleblower's investigation of data, you can read Stephen Bolsin's archived article for Medical Harm here.

If you would like to discuss a claim relating to any of the issues discussed here, you can call us for free, for discreet, impartial advice.