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Cancer unit faces ministerial inquiry

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7119.1327b (Published 22 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1327
  1. Duncan Campbell
  1. Edinburgh

    The Department of Health is to conduct a “full and detailed investigation” into the clinical and management practices of a leading gynaecological surgeon after allegations of serious professional misconduct were reported in the House of Commons.

    In a debate on NHS whistleblowing on 5 November Jim Cousins, Labour MP for Newcastle Central, complained that Mr John Monaghan had performed radical vulvectomy without previous biopsy on a patient; approved unacceptable standards for cervical smear testing and other pathology services; and was allowed to maintain his own clinical files away from his hospital's central registry and under his sole control.

    Mr John Monaghan

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    Mr Monaghan has declined to comment, but on his behalf the Medical Defence Union has said that he “denies that there is any truth in the allegations against him in parliament.” The Medical Defence Union also claimed that the allegations are “not new” and had been “considered and dismissed” by the General Medical Council and the then regional health authority. Some complaints about Mr Monaghan were upheld by investigators from the authority, and he was required to change his clinical practices.

    Test of new policy

    The Monaghan case has become the first major …

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