Simon Paterson-Brown, former chairman of the patient safety board at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSE), and his colleagues have called for ‘ego classes’ to tackle the growing concern that the personality of some surgeons is affecting patient survival rates.

Mr Paterson-Brown’s research revealed that surgeons who attracted a higher number of complaints from patients and colleagues about their conduct tended to have more complications on the operating table. Accordingly, he and his colleagues have called for doctors to attend courses which hone in on communication, leadership and ‘situation awareness’ amongst other things to improve doctors’ relationships with their patients and colleagues and, importantly, ensure that arrogance does not play a part in their work.

Examples of ego-driven behaviour were reported in a BMJ article in November last year. One notable case was that of transplant surgeon Simon Bramhall who was convicted of assault in January 2018 for branding his initials on patients’ livers during operations he performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The judge described the surgeon’s actions as “conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour”.

Another notable case was that of Ian Paterson who was jailed for 20 years in May 2017 for carrying out unnecessary breast operations on many of his patients between 1997 and 2011.  

Karen Reynolds, partner of our Derby and Stoke on Trent offices is leading investigations on behalf of over 60 patients who suffered negligent treatment by former consultant maxillofacial surgeon, Roger Bainton. Mr Bainton carried out a number of unnecessary operations and experimental procedures whilst practising at the Royal Stoke University Hospital between 2005 and 2013. He was suspended in 2013, subsequently dismissed and erased from the medical register by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal. Karen Reynolds, along with Naomi Solomon and Claire Cooper have obtained compensation for many who received negligent treatment whilst under the care of Mr Bainton. They are now working with the Trust to resolve the ongoing cases.

Naomi Solomon, Solicitor at Freeths LLP, said of Mr Bainton:

“A large number of our clients have advised us that Mr Bainton was arrogant and often did not take the time to properly explain their treatment to them. He simply told patients not to worry as he was experienced having performed numerous procedures. Naturally, his patients placed their trust in him which he abused. Mr Bainton is being investigated for his failure to obtain proper consent from his patients, performing inappropriate and unnecessary procedures and using an unlicensed substance known as DBX for orbital surgery. Needless to say this has had a significant impact on his former patients.”  

Freeths LLP Clinical Negligence solicitors have vast experience in claims arising from the malpractice of senior surgeons. If you are concerned about any treatment which you or a loved one have received, or are suffering complications following treatment performed by Mr Bainton (or the Maxillofacial team at the Royal Stoke Hospital) please contact our Stoke on Trent and Derby Clinical Negligence team:-

Karen Reynolds, Partner: 0845 272 5677 or karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

Claire Cooper, Solicitor: 0845 274 6830 or claire.cooper@freeths.co.uk

Naomi Solomon, Solicitor: 0845 030 5742 or naomi.solomon@freeths.co.uk

Alternatively, you can contact our National Team:

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) 0186 578 1019 carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk 

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester/Nottingham) on 0845 272 5724  jane.williams@freeths.co.uk  

For further information about this news report please also visit the BBC East Midlands website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/localnews/2651347-derby/0

 For further information about our team and how we may be able to help you, visit our website at: http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/clinical-negligence/