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The BBC's Niall Dickson
"Unrepentant and as dismissive as ever"
 real 28k

Rodney Ledward
"The profession has got rid of a first class consultant"
 real 28k

Dr Ian Bogle, chairman, British Medical Association
"His attitude is breathtakingly disgraceful"
 real 28k

Thursday, 8 June, 2000, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Ledward condemned as 'disgraceful'
Rodney Ledward
Rodney Ledward was struck off the medical register
Gynaecologist Rodney Ledward has been condemned by the BMA as conceited and deluded after refusing to admit he has done anything wrong.

Mr Ledward, who is accused of mutilating hundreds of patients, insists he is a "first class" doctor who made no more mistakes than others in his profession.

Mr Ledward was struck off the medical register two years ago after being found guilty of bungling 13 operations.

Speaking exclusively to BBC Radio 4's Today programme he said he had "made errors like everyone else".

Alan Milburn
Milburn is looking at stripping Ledward of his pension
The consultant appeared to show no remorse, saying: "The profession has got rid of a first class consultant."

Last week an inquiry condemned NHS consultants for allowing Mr Ledward to carry on working for years.

But Mr Ledward said: "I stood out like a sore thumb because I was flamboyant and flash to a lot of people's eyes, but I was providing an enormous service.

"I am a perfectly capable gynaecologist who has done a first class job.

"I have done a thousand and one operations over the last 30 years and, yes, I have had my share of mistakes.

"But ... you may find you have a similar picture in very many of my colleagues."

Mr Ledward said many of the claims made about him were simply inaccurate "journalese". He dismissed reports that six patients had died following surgery that he had carried out.

When asked about a patient who said that she had nearly died twice after treatment by the gynaecologist, he said he could not remember her case.

"The consultant sees 300 patients a week, and cannot remember all those patients, but the patient in bed with nothing else to do will remember you and the tie you are wearing."

Mr Ledward was tracked down to his 200,000 bungalow outside a village in Cork in the Republic of Ireland.

He has been registered as a locum chemist in the area since March 1999, but claims he is not working because he has cancer.

Scarred and maimed

The consultant says he now intends to write a book about his experiences to put forward his own side of the story.

Hundreds of his former patients have come forward to say they were left scarred or maimed by the consultant, who worked at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent.

The surgeon said he had not read the results of Jean Ritchie QC's year-long report exposing a climate of fear and intimidation in the NHS which led to consultants being treated as "gods".

That was one of the most breathtakingly disgraceful interviews I have ever heard

Dr Ian Bogle, chairman, British Medical Association

Mr Ledward said he did not even recognise the names of some of the 200 patients who claimed he had ruined their lives.

Health Secretary Alan Milburn is now considering whether it is possible to strip Mr Ledward of his NHS pension, as he did in the case of Harold Shipman, the GP convicted of 15 murders.

Dr Ian Bogle, chairman of the British Medical Association said he was dismayed by Mr Ledward's attitude.

He said: "That was one of the most breathtakingly disgraceful interviews I have ever heard.

"It was arrogant, conceited and deluded and missed out the one word that should have started that off - sorry."

Dr Bogle said it was "absolutely disgraceful" that Mr Ledward had attempted to suggest that other doctors practised to a similar standard.

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See also:

02 Jun 00 | Health
Pledge over patient agony
01 Jun 00 | Health
'Patients still not protected'
30 Sep 98 | Health
Gynaecologist banned
01 Jun 00 | Health
'I nearly died twice'
08 Jun 00 | Health
The Rodney Ledward interview
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