Belfast Telegraph

Surgeon criticised over op which led to mum's death is backed by Trust

By Rebecca Black

The Belfast Trust has said it has complete confidence in a top surgeon who was criticised this week for providing "substandard" care during an operation at the Ulster Independent Clinic in which a woman died.

However, the clinic revealed yesterday that it has asked Professor Neil McClure not to do that type of procedure at its premises since the death of a Co Armagh woman.

Professor McClure and his team were severely criticised by senior coroner John Leckey on Wednesday for "personal and institutional failure" during a minor operation which ended the life of Portadown woman Lynn Lewis.

Mr Leckey described the level of care by the team led by Prof McClure at the clinic on July 7, 2011, as "substandard".

Mother-of-two Mrs Lewis (38) died from a combination of hyponatraemia and haemorrhaging after a routine operation to remove a fibroid from her uterus.

This was the second inquest into the death of a young woman which the leading consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist has been criticised over.

Chief Executive of the Ulster Independent Clinic, Diane Graham, told the Belfast Telegraph that Prof McClure has not performed this type of procedure at the clinic since Mrs Lewis' death.

"Since this tragic case, Prof McClure was requested, and agreed, not to undertake this type of procedure at the clinic," she said.

"Following the conclusion of the inquest yesterday, we will fully consider the coroner's findings and any subsequent impact on the future use of clinic facilities."

It is understood Prof McClure has performed other types of surgery at the clinic.

Prof McClure currently works as a consultant at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Service and is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen's University Belfast.

A spokeswoman for the Trust said it is confident that Prof McClure is "able to provide a safe and effective gynaecology service to our patients".

"Following Mrs Lewis's death, Belfast Trust – with Professor McClure's agreement and co-operation – we conducted a review of Professor McClure's practice, and in particular ensured that an independent review of his practice was conducted by the National Clinical Assessment Service.

"This independent review confirmed that Professor McClure's performance was satisfactory and at the level expected of a consultant gynaecologist."

The General Medical Council confirmed that Professor McClure has never been the subject of one of their hearings.

QUOTE

"Since this tragic case in July 2011, Professor McClure was requested, and agreed, not to undertake this type of procedure at the clinic.

"Following the conclusion of the inquest yesterday, we will now take time to fully consider the coroner's findings and any subsequent impact on the future use of clinic facilities."

Ulster Independent Clinic

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