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1st March 2013

Trust admits series of failings as latest investigation into surgeon Mr Rob K. Jones highlights decade of medical negligence

Multiple patient and colleague concerns

The latest report into the conduct of Mr Rob K. Jones, a former obstetric and gynaecology consultant at the Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust, has concluded that a catalogue of errors and ‘missed opportunities’ allowed him to continue to practice for over a decade, despite multiple patient and colleague concerns during his 12 year clinical career.

A total of eight professional investigations into Mr Jones’ conduct failed to properly recognise or address reports made by colleagues of: unusual decisions made in relation to the management of hypertension during pregnancy which - if left unchecked - can increase the risk to the mother; a disproportionately high number of complications, such as bleeding and fistulas, which occurred during straightforward surgical gynaecology procedures due to poor surgical technique; flouting of guidelines in colposcopy and obstetric practice and evidence of improper and inadequate post-surgery record keeping.

Following the most recent investigation, the Trust has now identified 52 women under Mr Jones’ care who suffered unnecessary complications after routine surgery and 69 patients who were put ‘at risk of harm’ due to improper management of their case or substandard record keeping.

According to a statement made by the Royal Cornwall Hospital, it has to date contacted 58 of the women affected all of whom will be given a new clinical assessment.

The full scope and scale of Mr Jones’ medical negligence is only now coming to light

Head of clinical negligence at Thompsons, Linda Milliband said: “The full scope and scale of Mr Jones’ medical negligence is only now coming to light. The latest report mainly relates to those patients treated in the final two years of his practice and yet it is likely that he has put others at risk during the past decade.

“There may be many more ex-patients who have been affected by Mr Jones’ practice. We urge them to come forward and seek the medical and legal support they deserve.

“What this case highlights is a serious cultural problem within the healthcare sector relating to those who hold senior positions. No one should be above having their practice questioned for the good of those in their care. A witch hunt is never welcome but genuine suspicions of medical negligence, be they raised by fellow clinicians or patients, should be treated with the upmost importance and urgency. A rapid and robust response to such concerns is essential for the sake of patients’ well-being.”

Mr Jones, was suspended by the Trust in May 2012 at the recommendation of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

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