Call to keep ban on heart ops after baby deaths
A hospital where four babies died under the care of one surgeon must not resume heart surgery until it improves, a report urged yesterday.
The paediatric heart surgery unit at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, which was hit with a ban in March, should remain closed until the right mix of doctors is in place, it added.
All four babies died within a few months of surgeon Caner Salih starting work at the hospital.
After the fourth death under his care, he raised the alarm in February and decided to stop operating, having already complained about the age of equipment and poor working practices at the unit.
A health authority investigation said Mr Salih was not to blame for the deaths. It pointed to issues including a lack of preparation for his arrival and no senior cover to help him.
When the doctor raised his concerns, the trust failed to act for at least 11 days.
Yesterday, the chairman of the local health authority, Dr Geoffrey Harris, apologised to the families.