One of the most esteemed plastic surgeons in the UK is suing Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Consultant Jonathan Britto states that manages at the clinic effectively ruined his career with unacceptable conduct.
Britto was forced to work under supervision following complaints by three consultants which led to an investigation into his work.
The surgeon had previously acquired numerous awards for his work, and is a former president of the plastic surgery section at the Royal Society of Medicine.
Britto’s legal case asserts that the hospital has breached contract, and seeks to overturn a ban on his assisting other colleagues in surgery, seeking an injunction and damages.
David Dunaway, Neil Bulstrode and Owase Jeelani had raised concerns about the standard of Britto’s work in 2014.
Yet statistics indicate that the complication rate accrued by Britto differed minimally from those of other surgeons.
Soon afterwards Mr Britto was banned from carrying out complex cranio-facial surgery, or taking his clinic, unless it was agreed as part of a joint assessment with another colleague.
An internal trust report written in October 2014 concluded that “the effective exclusion of JB [Jonathan Britto] from any significant cranio-facial private practice unsettles the relationships within the Unit. The disunity will have an effect on patient safety and outcomes if not addressed in the near future.”
Mr Britto later wrote to Dr Vinod Diwakar, the trust’s medical director, in July 2014, stating that the situation was unacceptable to him, and that he deserved to return to full practice.
“The longer I remain in this situation the more difficult it will become to regain my credentials. I should be grateful for your support in my application for practicing privileges elsewhere, particularly at Moorfields Eye Hospital, as these are opportunities which I would find devastating to lose. I would like to return to the craniofacial operating table and to be able to respond, restored, to the call from colleagues elsewhere.”
But Dr Diwakar refused to remove the restrictions, stating that he needed to “put the safety of patients first”.
Thus, Britto has requested for the High Court to roll on his future.
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust has strongly denied the claims of the consultant.
A spokesperson commented that Great Ormond Street was adamant that it had taken an appropriate course of action in the case of Britto.
“At Great Ormond Street Hospital we strive to consistently deliver first-class care and treatment for all our patients. We therefore take a range of actions to ensure the best patient outcomes and experiences. In light of the current legal process it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”