He should have been banned, say patients of bungling Yorkshire surgeon who lied under oath

A SOLICITOR representing victims of a blundering Yorkshire surgeon who left a man dead and a mother with lifelong breathing difficulties has called for patients to have better access to the records of those who treat them.

Nayef El-Barghouty, an Egypt-trained surgeon working at Scarborough Hospital, wrongly tied off an artery in the right leg of retired engineer Wilfrid Taylor when he was repairing an aneurysm in his left leg.

The surgeon operated again to get the blood flowing in Mr Taylor’s right leg, but left a swab inside and had to perform a third procedure to retrieve it, during which he severed a vein. Mr Taylor, of Eastfield, Scarborough, bled to death on the operating table.

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Mr El-Barghouty also botched a routine operation to remove the thyroid gland of mother-of-two Joanne Roche, damaging nerves around her vocal cords, and she later had to have a tracheostomy to allow her to breathe properly.

Mr El-Barghouty, who lied on oath at an inquest into Mr Taylor’s death, was suspended for 12 months this week at a disciplinary hearing at the General Medical Council.

At an emotionally charged Press conference yesterday, Mrs Roche said she had been approached by other potential victims of Mr El-Barghouty, who had worked at the hospital since 1998, and the solicitor representing her and Mr Taylor’s family, Simon Wilson, said he was working on another case.

Mr Wilson, medical negligence expert at Neil Hudgell Solicitors in Hull and Leeds, said: “Patients in this country have very little information about complication rates, death rates, in certain surgical teams and I think that’s certainly something that needs looking at.”

He added: “We have asked about death rates, individual rates, but they are not kept, the rates of teams are kept.

“We certainly want to know what steps are put in place to make sure this doesn’t arise again. There need to be safeguards in place to make sure surgeons are better supervised.”

Both Mrs Roche, from Bridlington, and Mr Taylor’s son Mick, said they had wanted Mr El-Barghouty to be barred from practising.

Mrs Roche, 42, struggled for four months with breathing difficulties before “giving in” to have the tracheostomy, and is facing up to the reality that her life will never be the same.

She said: “I have to live with not being able to do different things with the children; I can’t go to bonfire night, can’t go swimming, can’t sing along to tunes with them. This is something that has affected the whole family.

“Personally, I would have preferred that he’d been removed from the register because I’m not the only case. I’ve had several people come to me since reading my story telling me what’s happened to them or their mother-in-law, it’s just horrendous.

“My family have been brilliant, my doctors have been brilliant and I have been very lucky to have a supportive employer. As for the future, this is it, I’m stuck with a tracheostomy for the rest of my life.”

Mr Taylor said: “Today would have been my father’s 85th birthday so it’s a bit of an emotional day.

“Like Jo, (Mr El-Barghouty being) erased from the register would have been the perfect result, but suspension for 12 months is the next maximum sanction.”

He added: “The impact on my family has been quite horrific. My mother died eight months before my father’s surgery, so the family lost a mother and father in the space of eight months and you can imagine the effect on the family. The grandchildren adored their grandparents.”

Mr Taylor said his family was still waiting for an apology from either the surgeon or his employers.

Asked what he would say if he had the opportunity to speak to Mr El-Barghouty, he said: “You will remember my father. He won’t just become another statistic in your career, you will remember his name.”