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BBC Wales's Jon Manel
"Jane Hutt said she will consider whether or not to ask for a full investigation"
 real 28k

BBC's Hugh Turnbull talks to those involved
"Robert Deane must have seemed like the obvious choice"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Amanda Powell
"Robert Fletcher Deane is at the centre of similar allegations in Glasgow"
 real 28k

Welsh College of Medicine's Siobhan McClelland
"Who exactly are doctors accountable to, it seems quite difficult to disentangle it"
 real 28k

Wales' Community Health Councils' chair Jane Jeffs
"You need to be absolutely clear that that person is totally above suspicion"
 real 28k

Friday, 3 March, 2000, 20:07 GMT
Concern over kidney inquiry surgeon
Two inquiries were ordered into the bungled operation at Prince Philip Hospital
The Welsh Assembly's Health Secretary, Jane Hutt, says she may order a fresh investigation into the removal of the wrong kidney from pensioner Graham Reeves.

She says she is deeply concerned that one of the consultants leading an inquiry into the case was involved in a similar operation in Scotland.

Surgeon Robert Fletcher Deane is leading an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the removal of 70-year-old Mr Reeves's healthy kidney at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli, west Wales, five weeks ago.

But it has emerged that Mr Deane was the lead surgeon in an operation in Glasgow three years ago in which the healthy, transplanted kidney of a 42-year-old woman was removed.

Graham Reeves
Graham Reeves: Never awoke from a coma
Her family are suing the NHS Trust involved for damages, alleging medical negligence.

The solicitor acting for that family, Iain Watson, described Mr Deane's appointment as "extremely unfortunate".

A spokeswoman for the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, said that the hospital had conducted an investigation into a "surgical procedure which didn't go to plan".

She added that following the investigation, there was no reason to discipline Mr Deane.

Mr Deane was appointed after the Royal College of Surgeons was asked by the National Assembly to carry out an independent investigation.

His inquiry into the operation on Mr Reeves - who died on Wednesday - is now complete.

Welsh Health Secretary Jane Hutt - who ordered the RCS inquiry - said she had not ruled out further investigations in the light of these revelations.

"The RCS have to look at their root and branch procedures and I expect to hear from them about how they will review the procedures," she said.

Llanelli AM Helen Mary Jones said it was "unbelievable" that the RCS did not know about the case before appointing Mr Deane.

"It's absolutely unbelievable that the person involved did not feel he had to tell them," she said.

Her words were echoed by Jane Jeffs, chair of Welsh Community Health Councils.

"I can't believe that Mr Deane did not turn around and say 'look perhaps I'm not the best person'.

'Above suspicion'

"It begs the question when you ask someone to carry out an investigation - for the patient's sake and for everybody's sake - we need to be absolutely clear that the person is totally above suspicion themsleves."

Royal College of Surgeons spokesman Craig Duncan said the college was completely unaware at the time of Mr Deane's appointment that he was involved in a legal case.

Assembly Secretary Jane Hutt
Jane Hutt: May order fresh inquiry
"Had it been aware, the college would've sought another consultant to conduct the inquiry," he said.

Four doctors at Prince Philip Hospital are facing disciplinary proceedings and could lose their jobs over the death of Mr Reeves.

The hospital has admitted he died because of a failure to follow strict rules for surgery.

Consultant urologist John Roberts and registrar M C Gowel have been suspended and will now face disciplinary proceedings.


Carmarthenshire NHS Trust Chief Executive Mike Jones said they would also consider disciplining two other doctors involved in the bungled operation on Mr Reeves.

The 70-year-old died in intensive care five weeks after his bungled operation.

He developed blood poisoning while on a life support machine at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

His family released a statement on Thursday saying they felt "confident" the investigation would be "detailed and impartial".

Mr Reeves's family are also taking legal advice and may sue the hospital over the blunder.

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See also:

01 Mar 00 |  Wales
Kidney blunder man dies
03 Feb 00 |  Wales
Probe into kidney blunder
27 Jan 00 |  Wales
'Once a decade' mistake
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