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  1. ITV Report

Suspended liver surgeon referred to police over 'suspicious deaths'

Concerns were first raised through normal monitoring in 2012. Photo: ITV News

A liver surgeon at University of Wales Hospital who was suspended over the "avoidable deaths" of eight patients has been referred to police by the local Health Board. His former employer in Leicester has launched an independent review into his work.

ITV News' Dan Rivers reports:

Maria Davies' partner Martyn Rogers was one of eight patients whose deaths were 'avoidable'. She has told ITV News about the loss on what would have been his birthday.

Maria said she blames Professor David Berry for Martyn's death: "He didn't just take Martyn's life, he took mine as well. I'm nothing without him now. I just want the answers, I just want to know why they took him."

Martyn Rogers, 66, of Newport, died of blood poisoning and acute liver failure in summer 2012 at University Hospital Wales.

His death on July 25 came one week after surgeon Dr Berry carried out the vital operation to remove tumours from his liver.

Lawyers acting for Maria Davies, his partner of 35 years, have launched their own investigation into what happened in the case of Mr Rogers.

Martyn Rogers died of blood poisoning and acute liver failure in July 2012, a week after undergoing surgery by Prof David Berry. Credit: Irwin Mitchell

Concerns about consultant surgeon, Professor David Berry, a respected specialist in his field, were first raised through the normal monitoring procedures operating at the health board in October 2012.

Officials identified concerns about the care and treatment of a number of patients who had undergone liver surgery led by the consultant.

As a result Prof Berry was immediately placed on restrictive practice while an internal investigation was carried out.

The findings from that investigation were serious enough for Prof Berry to be fully suspended while he was referred to the General Medical Council.

A team from the Royal College of Surgeons was then also called in and an in depth professional investigation carried out.

The surgeon was immediately placed on a period of restricted practice pending the outcome of an internal investigation, which confirmed the UHB's initial concerns and resulted in the surgeon being fully suspended from all duties in January 2013.

He was also referred to the General Medical Council (GMC)

The surgeon concerned remains fully suspended.

– Cardiff and Vale University Health Board spokesperson

The case has also been referred to police, South Wales Police said they are liaising with the Coroner and are in contact with the Crown prosecution Service over the claims.

A second independent investigation by the Royal College of Surgeons has now also been requested by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, as it revealed that Prof Berry previously worked there as well.

A helpline for concerned patients has been launched. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA