Blundering surgeon who lied on oath suspended for 12 months

A SURGEON has been suspended for 12 months for "deplorable" conduct after he lied on oath at an inquest into the death of one of his patients.


Nayef El-Barghouty was also strongly criticised by a General Medical Council disciplinary panel for carrying out two operations at Scarborough Hospital which should never have been performed.

One victim, grandfather Wilfrid Taylor, a retired engineer of Eastfield, Scarborough, who would have been 84 today, bled to death in the operating theatre in January 2009.

The surgeon admitted giving "false and utterly misleading" evidence about the case to an inquest three months later.

Mr Taylor was due to have an aneurysm in his left leg repaired but Mr El-Barghouty operated at the wrong site, mistakenly tying off an artery, and was forced to carry out another corrective operation which led to torrential bleeding.

Mother-of-two Jo Roche, 42, a healthcare assistant at a GP surgery in Bridlington, was left breathing through a tube in her neck following botched surgery a year earlier when her vocal cord nerves were severed.

The fitness to practise hearing in Manchester was told Mrs Roche's operation should have taken two-three hours but it was completed in 90 minutes. She had to learn to talk again as a result of the damage and had a complete tracheostomy to allow her to breathe properly.

Last night Mrs Roche said she was disappointed Mr El-Barghouty had not been struck off. She said she wanted assurances he would be retrained and that restrictions would be put on his practice when he returned to the operating theatre.

She said he should have realised soon after starting her operation that it was more complicated than anticipated and beyond his capabilities. She also remained angry that he must have known he had damaged nerves during the operation but did not admit it. Instead, for several months she was allowed to continue hoping they would repair themselves.

Counsel for the Egypt-trained vascular and general surgeon said his clinical failings were "tiny" in comparison with his overall performance and his dishonesty covered a period of no more than half an hour at the inquest.

But in imposing the maximum suspension of 12 months, panel chairman Judith Worthington said his conduct in lying on oath was "deplorable".

The operation on Mr Taylor was unlikely to have been effective and he had chosen to operate on Mrs Roche despite being "de-skilled" in the field.

He had put patients at "unwarranted risk of harm", brought the medical profession into disrepute, breached "fundamental tenets" of the profession and acted dishonestly in a way that was "deliberate and sustained".

Simon Wilson, medical negligence expert at Neil Hudgell Solicitors, who acted for both Mrs Roche and Mr Taylor's family in claiming damages, said the errors were "woeful".

"After hearing all the evidence, these failings have now been recognised by the GMC panel members and their decision must be welcomed," he said.

The surgeon stopped performing thyroid operations after surgery on Mrs Roche.

Following an unrelated region-wide review of vascular surgery, Scarborough Hospital is one of a number where it will no longer be performed. Mr El-Barghouti had been considering working in York as a vascular surgeon or in Scarborough as a general surgeon.

The chief executive at Scarborough Hospital, Mike Proctor, said: "We acknowledge the outcome of this hearing and must now take the time to consider the consequences"

Source: Yorkshire Post
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The Operating Theatre Journal, OTJ, is published monthly and distributed to every hospital operating theatre department in the UK. The distribution includes both the National Health Service and the Private Sector.

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