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Surgeon is struck off for catalogue of failings in care of six patients who died

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 06 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i1989
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A consultant general and gastrointestinal surgeon has been struck off after a regulatory tribunal found that his skills and knowledge fell “far below the standard expected from a consultant surgeon” and that he was guilty of a catalogue of failings amounting to serious misconduct in treating six patients who died in his care.

Dugal Heath, 59, was considered a leading bariatric surgeon before a string of patient deaths prompted his employer, the Whittington Health NHS Trust in London, to commission an independent review by experts from the Royal College of Surgeons. The reviewers found serious deficiencies, and Heath was referred to the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2013.

Only the previous year Heath had …

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