Poor mentoring is blamed for infant deaths after cardiac surgery at John Radcliffe hospital

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 30 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4157
  1. Jo Carlowe
  1. 1London

    A lack of effective clinical management contributed to infants’ deaths at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, a damning review published on 29 July says.

    The independent review of paediatric cardiac surgery and clinical governance, chaired by Bill Kirkup, was commissioned by the South Central Strategic Health Authority after four deaths of infants after cardiac surgery between December 2009 and February 2010.

    All four cases involved Caner Salih, a newly appointed consultant surgeon, who was left alone almost immediately on his arrival while his senior colleague Stephen Westaby took annual leave.

    National data indicated that for the number of patients less than one death would have been expected. However, the review panel found no evidence of poor surgical practice. Mr Salih used up to date methods, but the team at John Radcliffe Hospital were used to different techniques, “some of …

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