Surgeon Sacked Over Heart-Lung Bypass Data Irregularities

Series Of Deaths Led To Routine Inquiry


Senior figures at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham have confirmed that a heart surgeon has been dismissed.

According to BBC News, Ian Wilson was sacked because of medical data irregularities and not because of his ability as a surgeon.

Reports suggest Mr Wilson had been under-reporting the amount of time that patients were spending on a heart-lung bypass machine and this could have had serious consequences. The longer a person spends attached to this type of equipment, the chances of complications arising are increased.

The situation came to light as a series of deaths led to a routine inquiry being undertaken. An investigation will now be launched and Mr Wilson can only work for the NHS under supervision.

David Loughton, chief executive of New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, told the news provider that the surgeon was being retrained in a cardiac unit. This, he stated, falls in line with recommendations made by the General Medical Council (GMC).

"I have no knowledge of whatever conduct issues there were with his previous employment," Mr Loughton was quoted as saying.

"I have discussed this with a number of people in this organisation and we don't have any concerns about his clinical practice."

There is no room for error when it comes to medical data and the NHS is under increasing pressure to provide accurate figures across the board.

Concerns were raised earlier this year when healthcare analysts Dr Foster published a report that criticised the way the NHS recorded deaths. It alleged that the health service could use data to hide the fact that some patients had received treatment that ultimately failed.

Speaking in March 2014, Roger Taylor, director of research at Dr Foster, said the rules on reporting statistics are too vague and poor quality data is harming patients.

"If the data is not being recorded consistently ... there is a risk that poor patient care is being disguised and the public misled," he commented.

Expert Opinion
We welcome the GMC investigation into Mr Wilson’s conduct and hope that the findings will be openly shared with the families who lost loved ones as quickly as possible.

“They deserve to know if their loved one’s death was avoidable or contributed to by spending excessive amounts of time on a lung bypass machine.

“The Trust must review how it was possible for Mr Wilson to inaccurately report data relating to the machinery and any issues identified must be shared and improved across the NHS to protect future patient safety.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner