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Senior children's doctor sacked after charges of indecent images of children

A senior children's doctor has been sacked from a hospital after being charged with offences relating to indecent images of children.

Jonathan Walsh, 46, was a consultant paediatrician in the children's and adolescent services department of the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.

He was suspended from his role in July, but has now been permanently fired after he was charged with seven counts of making and distributing indecent images of children.

He is due to appear at Barnstaple Magistrates Court on July 15.

At the launch of the police investigation in September 2015 we took immediate action to exclude Dr Walsh from working at the Trust and informed the General Medical Council. It is our understanding that none of these charges relate to contact offences and none of these images relate to patients at NDDH.

As of 15th June 2016 we dismissed Dr Walsh from our employment with immediate effect.

This news has deeply shaken our whole team at NDDH and we know it will also shock the community.

– George Thomson, Medical Director for Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

A specialist phone line has now been set up to deal with any concerns.

The number is 0300 123 1744 and is open from 9-7pm weekdays - with a recorded message at weekends.


Legionella bug closes birth centre in Somerset

Any expectant mothers who will be affected by the closure have been contacted Credit: Katie Collins / PA

Paulton Birth Centre has closed after a strain of bacteria called legionella was found in the water system.

NHS Property Services, which owns and manages the centre, said it has been closed to new births since Friday. They're now carrying out essential upgrade work on the centre's water system.

Any mothers-to-be who were planning on using Paulton during this closure have been contacted by their midwife.

NHS Property Services says it's working to restore the unit as soon as possible.

We are carrying our further tests at the site and hope to hand the unit back to the RUH by the end of June

– NHS Property Services spokesperson

Services at the unit are provided by Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust. The birth centre is on the site of Paulton Memorial Hospital where the hospital ward, the Minor Injuries Unit and Outpatients are open as normal.

What is legionella?

  • legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems like rivers and ponds
  • they can also grow in purpose built water systems under the right conditions
  • this is more common if water is maintained at a high temperature
  • if people inhale droplets of infected water it can lead to Legionnaires' disease - a potential fatal type of pneumonia


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