Surgeon suspended after Redbridge hospital death to return to work

A SURGEON suspended after he performed a hernia operation on a patient without formal training has been allowed to return to work under supervision – but not at King George Hospital.

The man died shortly after Gideon Lauffer “acted outside his competency” during the procedure at the hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes in September 2007.

Lauffer had only performed two of these procedures before and in July last year he was found guilty of misconduct for “serious breaches” of good medical practice.

His contract with King George was terminated soon after.

During a General Medical Council (GMC) review hearing last week Mr Lauffer, who was suspended for six months on full pay, was told he needed supervision and re-training.

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It was decided a number of conditions would be imposed on his registration over a 12 month period to allow him to “undertake a phased return to independent practice”.

These include the appointment of a mentor and day-to- day supervision by a registered medical practitioner of consultant grade or equivalent.

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GMC panel chairman Alyson Leslie said: “The panel has determined and announced that your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your misconduct.

“Owing to the serious nature of your misconduct, including dishonesty, this is not a case in which taking no action would be proportionate or sufficient to protect the public interest.”

However Ms Leslie did comment on Mr Lauffer’s “good service” to the NHS and said with the right support he could again become a valued member of the medical profession.

There were 13 conditions imposed which require him to:

• Notify the GMC of any professional appointment

• Agree to the appointment of a workplace reporter

• Allow the exchange of information between his employer and the GMC.

The doctor has faced a series of claims he botched operations and acted inappropriately since his employment with Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals Trust and private practice at the Spire Roding Hospital, in Roding Lane South, Redbridge, the Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood, Essex and the private North East London Treatment Centre at King George Hospital, began in 1998.

The GMC panel looked at his conduct with five patients since September 2006 and found incidents of “inappropriate” behaviour with four patients.

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