Surgeon paid £265k despite 88 ‘botched’ operations
A SURGEON who was suspended over 88 alleged botched operations has earned £265,000 while investigations continue into his high error rate, it emerged yesterday.
Roger Bainton was struck off the dental register and censured by the General Medical Council over a death in Scotland in 1999.
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But he relocated to Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire where 26 per cent of his patients then suffered surgical complications.
The consultant was suspended in February 2013 over 88 alleged botched facial operations after concerned colleagues blew the whistle.
He caused further controversy when a report by the Royal College of Surgeons found he blamed his failure rate on “a high incidence of drinkers, smokers and drug addicts” in North Staffordshire. He also said his patients in The Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent had a “weaker genetic make-up” than people elsewhere in the country.
Yesterday it was revealed the Royal Stoke University Hospital has paid Mr Bainton – who specialised in rebuilding the faces of assault or accident victims – £265,000 since his suspension.
The hospital has also spent £103,000 bringing in staff to do the facial surgeon’s work as well as £101,000 investigating his work and treating his patients.
More than 100 people – who were treated by Mr Bainton since 2007 – are taking legal action after claiming their operations were botched.
Campaigners yesterday branded the £469,000 cost of the case as a waste of money.
Solicitor Karen Reynolds, who is representing 30 of the victims, said: “This cost is so disappointing at a time when NHS resources are so stretched.
“The hospital took the decision to employ Mr Bainton when he had already been disciplined by the GMC.”
Mr Bainton was banned by the GMC after his patient Iain Duncan, 33, suffered a heart attack two days after an operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1995 and died in intensive care several months later.
The council ruled the surgeon was guilty of failing to ensure the patient received adequate care as well as failing to ensure his condition was managed by suitable staff.
Speaking yesterday about the cases in Staffordshire, Ms Reynolds added: “More than 100 patients are already making claims arising from Mr Bainton’s work.
“I believe that number will significantly increase.”
A total of 33 of the consultant’s patients were recalled after being treated with an unproven and experimental bone substitute. Another 36 patients had jaw surgery when non-surgical measures would normally be used, while 19 people had unnecessary eye socket surgery.
Defending the costs, a spokesperson for the Royal Stoke University Hospital said: “We must follow appropriate and necessary processes. The costs include the provision of locum services to ensure the continuity of the service for patients.”
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