Expert Lawyers Call For Greater Regulation Of Industry After Cosmetic Surgeon Is Struck Off

Dr David Waghorn Found Guilty Of Misconduct


By Helen MacGregor

Medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell have called for better regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry after a doctor was struck off the medical register for operating in unhygienic conditions.

Dr David Waghorn, who had a clinic in Harley Street, was discovered performing liposuction in a dirty Mayfair basement littered with blood-stained swabs and needles by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors.

Work surfaces were found littered with unsheathed needles, blood stained swabs and discarded latex gloves and Dr Waghorn was found to be performing liposuction on a woman, who he said he could not recall the name of.

A panel at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found the surgeon had put the patient at increased risk of infection and a lack of monitoring and resuscitation equipment meant that there was an increased risk of death.

The hearing in Manchester heard that inspectors from the Care Quality Commission went to the clinic on Dover Street after receiving a tip off that another doctor was disposing of bodily waste.

Dr Waghorn had rented the basement – which was unregistered for use as an operating clinic – because other registered premises were unavailable.

Finding him guilty of misconduct, Professor Miller said Dr Waghorn had been found to have a ‘cavalier approach’ to patient safety incompatible with working as a doctor. He was struck off the Medical Register with immediate effect.

Dr Waghorn has already been fined £2,500 under the Care Standards Act at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for his work at the basement clinic in March 2010.

Mandy Luckman, a Partner and medical law expert specialising in cosmetic surgery claims at Irwin Mitchell, said: “There is an ever expanding list of cosmetic procedures by a growing list of surgeons which are more easily available and affordable.

“We have been calling for government intervention and greater regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry to protect patient safety for years, after seeing an increasing number of potential claims involving practitioners that are not medically qualified and exposing patients to harm.

“We regularly receive enquiries from individuals that have sustained significant damage, which on occasions is permanent, following liposuction and breast augmentation, as well as fillers and Botox procedures and there seems to be a pattern that they have not been warned of the risks to their health.

“Appropriate regulation throughout this field is vital in protecting patient safety and ensuring individuals are given the best possible care.”

Dr Waghorn set up his own company offering cosmetic surgery procedures after he lost his job working at a private treatment centre in Plymouth.

His company, LipoSurgery, advertised that it offered treatments in Harley Street, Mayfair and Weybridge.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to cosmetic surgery claims