Page last updated at 19:14 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

John Radcliffe Hospital children's heart surgeon leaves

John Radcliffe Hospital
The South Central Strategic Health Authority is leading the review

The surgeon who operated on four children who died after undergoing heart surgery has quit his post.

Children's heart surgery has been suspended at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, while an investigation is carried out.

The hospital confirmed Caner Salih had performed on the "very sick" children who died.

The trust stressed there was no suggestion at this stage that the surgeon involved had made any errors.

A health trust spokesman said the surgeon was leaving for a job at another hospital.

The spokesman said Mr Salih's departure is not related to the inquiry, which started this week, and the investigation was not focusing solely on the surgery.

"We can confirm that all four of the children who died within the timeframe concerned were patients of Mr Salih, but we are not just looking at the surgical procedures, we are looking at all aspects of patient care in relation to these children," he added.

'Safe service'

Children who were awaiting operations at the hospital are being placed with one of 10 other specialist units in the country.

The external review is being led by the South Central Strategic Health Authority.

Sadly, any hospital will have deaths in a service that provides treatment for patients who are very unwell
Hospital spokesman

The spokesman added: "Paediatric cardiac surgery outcomes are nationally validated and the data is published.

"Oxford has been within normal outcome ranges.

"This is one of the reasons why we felt it was necessary to take a close look at our service to ensure we continue to provide a high quality safe service for our children.

"Sadly, any hospital will have deaths in a service that provides treatment for patients who are very unwell.

"However, it is right that we take a pause while we look into the individual cases, to see if there is anything to learn from them."

The hospital said the patients involved all had congenital heart problems, a general term for birth defects that affect the heart.

Other cardiology procedures at the hospital will continue as usual.

The hospital has a second surgeon who also carries out paediatric heart surgery, Professor Stephen Westaby.

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The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Telegraph Baby who died after heart surgery at John Radcliffe is named - 33 hrs ago
Newbury Weekly News Investigation reveals same surgeon operated on all four children - 39 hrs ago
Hartlepool Mail Heart surgeon quits hospital in children's death probe - 42 hrs ago
BirminghamWired John Radcliffe Hospital children's heart surgeon leaves - 45 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland Heart surgeon leaves hospital post - 48 hrs ago

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