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Wednesday, 5 July, 2000, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
Trust suspends gynaecologist
Early warning system would spot bungling surgeons
A gynaecologist has been suspended following concerns over the standard of his work, conduct and attitude to his patients.

Ian Treharne was suspended on full pay from Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust pending an external investigation.

Mr Treharne, who has worked for the trust for several years, has denied all the allegations.

A spokesman for the trust, which runs Colchester General Hospital and five other hospitals, said Mr Treharne, from Aberdeen, had been working under supervision.

He was suspended after a breakdown in talks about the extent of the restrictions imposed on him.

The trust believes this is the right action to take in the interests of patient safety

Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust spokesman
"The trust believes this is the right action to take in the interests of patient safety while the investigation into these allegations takes place," a spokesman said.

The spokesman said the trust was reassuring patients that there was no need for concern.

Senior management meet on Wednesday to discuss who will conduct the investigation into Mr Treharne's case.

Bungling operations

The case follows several high-profile suspensions served on gynaecologists.

In September 1998, Rodney Ledward, a gynaecologist at South Kent Hospitals NHS Trust, was struck off the medical register after being found guilty of serious professional conduct.

The General Medical Council found him guilty of bungling 13 operations including failure to carry out proper pre-operative care.

It was alleged that he also damaged hundreds more women.

Rodney Ledward
Rodney Ledward: Found guilty of serious professional misconduct
Mr Ledward caused further outrage when he told the BBC he was a "first class" doctor who made no more mistakes than others in his profession.

In June Richard Neale, who practised in the UK for 14 years despite having been struck off in Canada, appeared before the General Medical Council (GMC) accused of mistreating scores of female patients.

The cases prompted the government to announce it was setting up an early warning system to detect serious medical problems.

A central register will log details of all serious incidents and near misses.

The system is due to be introduced in England by the end of the year.

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See also:

30 Sep 98 | Health
Gynaecologist banned
01 Jun 00 | Health
'Patients still not protected'
13 Jun 00 | Health
Plan to stop dangerous doctors
08 Jun 00 | Health
The Rodney Ledward interview
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