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BBC Scotland's Colin Wight
"Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is seeking legal advice about Mr Bainton's future"
 real 28k

Friday, 17 March, 2000, 15:56 GMT
Surgeon censured by GMC
The operation took place at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
A facial surgeon has been severely reprimanded by the General Medical Council after being found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Roger Bainton had denied a series of charges, which arose from the death of Iain Duncan, 33, after an operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1995.

The dead man's parents told journalists outside the hearing in London that they were disappointed Mr Bainton had not been struck off.

I deeply regret the death of Iain Duncan and would like to express my sincere sympathy to his family once again

Roger Bainton
Mary Duncan, from Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, said: "It has been a real strain and has taken five years of our lives."

Rodney Yates, chairman of the GMC's professional conduct committee, told the surgeon: "The standard of care you provided fell well below the standard set out in the GMC's guidance at the time. You were the surgeon responsible for Mr Duncan's care.

Iain Duncan's parents
Iain Duncan's parents:'Disappointed'
"It was your decision to undertake the operation and to ensure that adequate arrangements existed for his post-operative care.

"You did not, however, visit him following his operation and relied instead on junior colleagues to do so."

Speaking after the decision, Mr Bainton said: "I deeply regret the death of Iain Duncan and would like to express my sincere sympathy to his family once again.

"This tragic incident has caused me great personal anguish. My family, friends, colleagues and patients have been very supportive and for this I'm very grateful.

"My duty of confidentiality prevents me discussing this further."

Roger Bainton
Roger Bainton:'Deep regret'
An Aberdeen Royal Infirmary spokesman said: "We're still in the process of taking legal advice on Mr Bainton's future with Grampian Universities Hospital Trust.

"However since the unfortunate death of Mr Duncan, an internal inquiry has been put in place and a number of changes have been made as a result.

"Since then we have performed 250 similar operations without any adverse occurence."

Committee ruling

Earlier, the committee heard how Mr Duncan suffered a heart attack 48 hours after the operation. He was rushed to intensive care, where he died after several months.

It ruled that Mr Bainton was guilty of failing to ensure that Mr Duncan received adequate care.

He was also adjudged to have failed to ensure Mr Duncan's condition and progress was adequately monitored by suitably experienced and qualified staff.

However, the surgeon was cleared on a charge of failing to ensure that his patient received adequate special nursing after the operation.

After ruling on the specific charges, the GMC then decided they amounted to serious professional misconduct.

During the hearing, the GMC was told Mr Duncan's operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary had been cancelled twice before he was finally admitted on 21 May 1995.

Administered morphine

The surgery to correct his jaw was carried out the following day but after it, Mr Duncan's face and neck began to swell.

Mr Duncan was visited by another doctor later in the day who noticed the swelling and recommended that ice packs be used to take it down.

That doctor assumed Mr Bainton would go back to check on the patient, but he did not.

During the night, Mr Duncan grew steadily worse and the following day he was taken to intensive care.

Mr Duncan's parents had told the GMC how they had visited their son just hours before he had suffered the heart attack.

John and Mary Duncan said their son had been so ill following the operation that they had been able to communicate only through notes he had wrote to them.

On one of them, he scrawled: "I'm choking, please help me."

In December last year, Mr Bainton was suspended for a year by the General Dental Council after it ruled that he had neglected his professional responsibilities.

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19 Nov 99 | Scotland
Dental death hearing adjourned
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