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Killer surgeon attempts to resume practice

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

After a surgeon from Blackpool Victoria Hospital was issued with a 21-month suspended sentence in 2004, after admitting to manslaughter, he has applied to be a doctor again. Steven Walker was issued with the 21-month suspended sentence following the death of 71-year-old patient Dorothy McPhee through medical negligence. The General Medical Council then struck him off after he pleaded guilty to the negligence in 2005.

The General Medical Council told media that it was “rare” for doctors or surgeons to be completely removed from the medical register and to then be restored to it. Walker (56) is due to face a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) from the 14th to the 15th of November: this hearing will reflect on his application to practice as a surgeon in the Blackpool region.

‘Posed for a photograph with a liver sample’

The negligence that Mrs McPhee experienced surrounded an operation she was undergoing to have a tumour removed, which he should not have performed. Mrs McPhee lost a staggering 31 pints of blood during the operation and suffered a haemorrhage, described by consultant anaesthetist Helen Matheson as “torrential”. The hearing also found that while Mrs McPhee was dying nearby, Mr Walker posed for a photograph with a liver sample. 

Other manslaughter charges included the death of Jean Robinson (66), who was another patient of Walker’s at Blackpool Victorial Hospital in 1995, and another patient whose case was also ordered to lie on file. Walker was first struck off in 2001 after performing surgery out-with his abilities, and was again struck off in 2005 after being found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council following numerous failed operations which led to the deaths of four women between 1995 and 1998. The GMC heard that 16 anaesthetists at the hospital had refused to work with Walker.

Neil Saville, whose mother died in an operation carried out by Walker, said: “I don’t see why he should be allowed to practice again at all.

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