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Monday, November 30, 1998 Published at 19:15 GMT

Bristol heart doctor loses appeal

Janardan Dhasmana appealed against his sacking

Surgeon Janardan Dhasmana has lost his appeal against his dismissal from the Bristol Royal Infirmary in the wake of the heart babies scandal.

The Bristol Heart Babies
Mr Dhasmana, 59, was one of three doctors found guilty of serious professional misconduct after a lengthy General Medical Council inquiry last summer into the deaths of children at the hospital.

Surgeon James Wisheart and Dr John Roylance, the former chief executive of the United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust, were ordered to be struck off.

Mr Dhasmana was banned from operating on children for three years but allowed to continue with surgery on adults.

The inquiry had examined 53 operations on children carried out by the two surgeons between 1988 and 1995. Twenty nine patients died and four were left brain injured.

After an internal inquiry following the GMC findings, Mr Dhasmana was dismissed from the hospital.

He lodged an appeal which was heard last week when he was present with legal representatives and supported by members of the Bristol Heart Surgeons Support Group.

They are campaigning for his return to work and to clear his name and those of the other doctors.

The trust confirmed on Monday that a panel of non-executive directors had dismissed his appeal.

Sold short

[ image: Bristol Royal Infirmary: the scene of the tragedy]
Bristol Royal Infirmary: the scene of the tragedy
Martin Berry, a spokesman for the Support Group, said: "We believe that Mr Dhasmana has been totally sold short by the UBHT. We still feel his dismissal is totally unfair.

"His performance figures since 1995 on adult cardiac patients have been well above average - in fact they were the best.

"We will fight on and if need be will go to the European Court of Human Rights. We are prepared to take it that far to get him reinstated and to get fair treatment for him."

A public inquiry into the scandal is to open in Bristol next March. Hearings are expected to last until the end of the year.

The inquiry will then go into a second and final phase with hearings in London.

A spokeswoman for the UBHT said: "The trust will continue to cooperate fully with the forthcoming public inquiry, while maintaining its excellent standards in paediatric cardiac surgery."

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