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Surgeon who exposed safety failings ‘driven out of NHS’ after 43 years

An award-winning hospital consultant says he has been “hunted” out of the NHS after 43 years for flagging patient safety failings.

Peter Duffy, 61, performed his final surgical procedure, supervising a bladder cancer removal, earlier this month at Noble’s Hospital on the Isle of Man.

He said he had “been looking forward to a good few more years of full-time work — another five, at least”. But the cumulative toll of a long-running whistleblowing dispute with his former employer, Morecambe Bay NHS Trust (UHMBT), instead pushed him into “an abrupt, even savage termination of my calling”.

The General Medical Council watchdog recently dropped a 30-month probe into Duffy prompted by emails that he alleges were falsified. The emails, which were apparently sent by Duffy in December 2014 but did not surface until 2020, appeared to implicate him in the string of clinical errors that led to the death of Peter Read, a 76-year-old man from Morecambe.

The GMC concluded that it could not attach weight to the emails as evidence. However, Duffy says the ordeal of “having the responsibility for an avoidable death I’d reported being flipped and of having the finger pointed back at me” drove him to contemplate suicide.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 24 July 2023


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