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Dr Steve Bolsin compiles his audit

1989 - 1990

James Wisheart was elected chairman of the Hospital Medical Committee, and made Assistant Director of Cardiac Surgery, both prestigious positions.

However, his own death rates for this period later came under the spotlight.

Between 1990 and 1994, he operates on 15 babies and young children with so-called "holes in the heart". Nine died either during or shortly after surgery - again, a much higher than expected rate.

Dr Bolsin, by now with a strong feeling that something was wrong, wrote to chief executive John Roylance, briefly raising some concerns about mortality in children's cardiac surgery.

He claimed he was shortly afterwards confronted by a furious Wisheart - a charge the surgeon denies.

Bolsin started his own examination of death rates for two types of operation.

The hospital tried to recruit a surgeon specialising in paediatric cardiac surgeon, Martin Elliott - but he pulled out, citing the poor operating facilities at Bristol.


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