Leading UK paediatrician reinstated

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 20 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:885
  1. Caroline White
  1. London

    North Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust has reinstated consultant paediatrician Professor David Southall after a two year investigation into his work at the hospital in Stoke on Trent.

    The investigation, which cost £750000 ($1.1m), involved five investigative panels, child health specialists, the Social Services Inspectorate, and the police.

    The announcement, which the trust had intended to make at a press conference on 16 October, was rushed out on the preceding Friday afternoon, after it was leaked to a freelance journalist. Professor Southall, whose work is also being investigated by the General Medical Council, said, “I'm really pleased to be able to go back to looking after sick and injured children.”

    Professor Southall, who was appointed in 1992, was suspended in November 1999 from his post on full pay along with another consultant, Dr Martin Samuels, after two independent external clinicians undertook a preliminary examination of his child protection and research work at the hospital (BMJ 2000;320:9). This was prompted by a series of serious complaints made about Professor Southall's professional conduct in January 1999, …

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