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Thursday, 11 May, 2000, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Surgeon shocked by 'psycho' claims
Cosmetic surgery is on the increase
A plastic surgeon accused of being a psychopath says he is shocked by the barrage of complaints from former patients.

David Herbert, 62, is accused of botching cosmetic surgery on dozens of patients, leaving one woman with a gaping hole in her stomach after a tummy tuck operation.

The dossier of evidence I have about him is as gruesome as it is wrong

Labour MP Ann Clwyd

The allegations against Mr Herbert were detailed under the protection of parliamentary privilege in the House of Commons by Labour MP Ann Clwyd on Wednesday.

The surgeon, nicknamed "the flying doctor" for the speed with which he carries out his surgery, refused to comment on the complaints at his home in Southwell, near Newark in Nottinghamshire.

Best results for patients

"The complaints that have been made against me come as a great shock," said Mr Herbert in a statement issued by the Medical Protection Society.

"Before responding to the complaints I will be considering them in great detail in consultation with my legal advisers.

Ann Clwyd MP says thousands are left scarred for life

"I have always done everything I could to achieve the best possible result for every one of the many patients I have treated."

Mrs Clwyd said the surgeon, who was the subject of a BBC Watchdog programme in 1988, had practised in Huntington, Preston and Nottingham.

"He carries out 35 surgical procedures a week and he carries out a face lift in just 40 minutes, " she said.

"Other surgeons tell me it should take between two and four hours."

She said one patient was left close to death after a stomach infection.

Tighter guidelines needed

Mrs Clwyd said Mr Herbert was apparently asked to leave a Nottingham hospital in 1986 after operating theatre staff refused to work with him.

She said comments about his work from close colleagues ranged from "verging on the psychopathic" and "crude" to "he's a psychopath".

"There are allegations that he often settles out of court with patients in order to avoid bad publicity that would come in a court case," she said.

"The dossier of evidence I have about him is as gruesome as it is wrong.

"It is incredible that this has been allowed to continue for so long."

Mrs Clwyd said it was unlikely that Mr Herbert would face a showdown with the General Medical Council and was more likely to retire.

She urged the government to introduce tougher guidelines for the largely privately run, unregulated sector which she says has been responsible for causing misery to thousands of people who just wanted to improve their appearance.

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23 Jan 00 | Health
Cosmetic surgery soars
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