'A disregard for patient safety' - Sheffield surgeon struck off after three botched operations

A senior surgeon has been struck off after botching three operations on patients in Sheffield's hospitals.

Monday, 15th May 2017, 8:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th May 2017, 1:15 pm
Dr Haruna worked at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which operates sites such as the Royal Hallamshire Hospital pictured

Dr Lawal Haruna, aged 59, made the errors over the course of two years - including removing a woman's ovary because he said the appendix and fallopian tubes were similar 'worm-like structures' in the same area.

The woman, named only as Patient B, was admitted to hospital with stomach pain and was operated on by Dr Haruna. He left the affected appendix which was the cause of her pain but instead removed one of her ovaries, a medical tribunal heard.

The hearing heard had Patient B been of child-bearing age, the 'removal of a fallopian tube and ovary could have been incredibly serious and potentially life-changing' but Haruna 'showed no recognition of these potential consequences'.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Dr Haruna made errors on two further operations - one mistaking a lump of fat for an appendix in one case and a skin tag for a harmful lump in another.

A man known as Patient A was supposed to be treated for acute appendicitis - but Dr Haruna removed a pad of fat instead by mistake.

The hearing heard Patient A was in pain for over a month and had to have a further operation to have their appendix removed.

When health bosses began investigating, Haruna botched a third operation on a woman known as Patient C who had been admitted with a cyst - only for him to remove a skin tag instead.

Haruna informed the tribunal that Patient C seemed ‘fine’ after the operation but she suffered a 'painful post-operative infection' and in her letter of complaint to the Trust wrote that she had ‘lost confidence' and 'worried' for any further surgery in future.

At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, a disciplinary panel found him guilty of misconduct and banned him from treating patients.

Dr Haruna, who began working at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in 2001 which operates sites such as the Hallamshire and Northern General, said he was suffering with 'poor vision' and apologised to all three patients.

But Claire Sharp, chairman of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service said: "The Tribunal saw your misconduct as a particularly serious departure from general medical practice, breaching several fundamental principles.

"You committed three ‘never events’ over a relatively short period of time. The Tribunal characterised your behaviour in relation to Patient C as reckless, and determined that you had a disregard for patient safety in continuing with her operation."