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Pressing need for a new “duty of candour” demonstrated by recent revelations about Mr Rod Irvine, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist…….

The pressing need for a new “duty of candour” is demonstrated by recent revelations about Mr Rod Irvine, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who has operated on women at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, the Princess Royal Hospital, Bromley and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich. One of the recommendations made in Robert Francis QC’s report on the failings of Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust is that there be a new ‘duty of candour’. It is proposed that it be a criminal offence for a health or social care worker at any level not to report service failures to their employer. This would herald a massive cultural shift in the NHS where there has always been a deep-rooted fear associated with “whistle-blowing” and speaking openly about concerns in patient care. Indeed, in 1990 Graham Pink, a nurse was fired for highlighting concerns with regard to inadequate care of the elderly patients with whom he worked.

South London Healthcare NHS Trust has written to just under 2,000 women who underwent surgery under Mr Irvine at Queen Mary’s Hospital between 2002 and 2012 after concerns about Mr Irvine were raised in August 2012. Potentially life-changing clinical errors appear to have been made and possibly repeated over the course of a 10 year period, which could potentially have been avoided had health workers felt able to express concerns about the standard of care provided by Mr Irvine.

If you have undergone surgery under Mr Rod Irvine and have concerns about the treatment you received, do please feel free to phone Caroline Klage on 020 7288 4824.

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