Patients of suspended South London Healthcare Trust gynaecologist could sue
PUBLISHED: 11:24 12 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:35 12 July 2013
A number of patients of suspended South London Healtcare Trust consultant gynaecologist Rod Irvine are considering taking legal action.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell, who some women have approached for legal advice, said this could be against the trust but it is too early to say until more facts of specific cases are known.
Cynthia Marshall, a solicitor at the firm and specialist in medical law, said: “We have already heard first-hand of concerns raised regarding this and our clients, other patients and their families will all be desperate for answers over the issues identified in relation to Mr Irvine’s care.
“Patient safety should always be the top priority and it is vital that this review provides comprehensive answers and information regarding the issues identified, as well as clear steps as to how lessons can be learned from these problems.
“Many women will be scared and worried by this news and we would urge anyone with concerns to contact the information line which has been set up. By getting in touch, they could play an important part in supporting this review and the ongoing inquiries in relation to it.”
SLHT has written letters to around 2,000 women after an investigation was launched into Mr Irvine’s conduct, who did a lot of his work at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup.
Mr Irvine, who is on full pay - as a consultant, he could earn up to £100,000 a year basic salary - has been suspended from the trust since November last year and there have been restrictions placed on his ability to operate.
The General Medical Council has banned him from private work while any NHS work he undertakes must be supervised.
Concerns were first raised in August 2012 and from a sample of 255 patients, SLHT noticed serious cause for concern in 17 cases and some cause for concern in a further 49.
Meanwhile, another former patient of Mr Irvine’s has come forward.
The woman, who does not want to be identified and has since moved to Spain, says she has not received a letter from SLHT.
Like another patient who talked to the Bexley Times yesterday, she said the developments were “very worrying.”
“He was an abrupt man but I wouldn’t say I had any concerns about my surgery last year.
“I have since been looked at by a female surgeon since I was operated on by Mr Irvine because I couldn’t get hold of him, and she hasn’t notice anything wrong.
“I’ve heard from one of my friends who was also treated by him that some of her notes have gone missing but I didn’t think there was anything especially untoward about my treatment.”
Were you treated by Mr Irvine? Contact the newsroom on 0208 477 3858 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.