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Woman Launches Battle For Justice After Learning Partner’s Death Following Surgery Was ‘Avoidable’

Report Criticises Surgeon David Berry Who Is Now Being Investigated By GMC


The heartbroken partner of a man who died following liver surgery is taking legal action in a battle for further answers about what went wrong after a professional body report criticised his care and declared his death as ‘avoidable’.

Martyn Rogers died of blood poisoning and acute liver failure on 25 July last year, a week after undergoing surgery by David Paul Berry to remove tumours from his liver at University Hospital Wales. Three days after the procedure, his organs began shutting down and it was discovered one of his major veins had been damaged.

Following the 66-year-old’s death, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) commissioned a report which found the surgery showed evidence of 'poor judgment' and 'technical errors'... 'reflecting poor operative skills'. It concluded that Martyn’s death was 'avoidable'.

Now, Martyn’s partner of 40 years, Maria Davies, has instructed medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate further. She says she has concerns about the care other patients may have received given the treatment Martyn was provided and wants to know what measures are being taken by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to protect patient safety.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is also investigating Mr Berry who has had restrictions on his practice since March this year. He is no longer allowed to perform the procedure given to Martyn known as Hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery.

Emma Rush, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell representing Maria, said: "The report by the Royal College of Surgeons into Martyn’s death is deeply concerning and Maria understandably wants answers about why her partner’s death has been described as avoidable.

"We welcome the GMC investigation and hope that the health board will work with us quickly and amicably to provide Maria with information about her loss and also provide reassurance that every possible step has been taken to protect future patient safety."

Maria, who lives in Newport, added: "Martyn had suffered bowel cancer since 2010 along with liver metastases but we were led to believe that the surgery would remove the tumours and ultimately prolong his life.

"To learn that Martyn’s death could have been avoided is very difficult to comprehend and has left me feeling angry. I want to know why his treatment was not better and I am also concerned that other patients may have been affected as the RCS report suggests poor operative skills were partly to blame.

"I would also like to know what steps are being taken by the board within the hospital to ensure no one else suffers the same unnecessary ordeal."

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to medical negligence claims.