Basement surgeon loses legal battle against ban
A DISGRACED cosmetic surgeon who performed liposuction on a woman amid soiled swabs and needles in a grubby Mayfair basement claims the panel that struck him off breached his human rights.
The General Medical Council (GMC) came to the "inescapable conclusion" that Dr David Anthony Waghorn must be erased from the medical register in July, after finding he had worked in "appalling conditions".
The Plymouth-based medic – previously convicted of carrying on an unregistered hospital – "caused serious risks to a patient" and "brought the profession into disrepute" the GMC ruled.
The medic challenged that ruling at London's High Court, insisting that the disciplinary panel that ruled him unfit to practise was not "competent, independent and impartial" – in beach of his right to a fair hearing.
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However, top judge, Mr Justice Phillips, has now rejected the surgeon's "unarguable" complaints, describing them as "totally without merit".
Mr Justice Phillips said Dr Waghorn was found operating in filthy conditions, without vital safeguards and equipment, when inspectors performed a spot check at a clinic in Dover Street, Mayfair, in March, 2010.
The "chaotic" subterranean clinic used for the fat removal op had "bloody swabs" and "used syringes" perilously close to clean equipment, according to the GMC panel.
Medical experts expressed alarm that there was no equipment for resuscitation or monitoring the patient's vital signs, no cleaning facilities, no surgical masks or scrubs and no means of disposing of contaminated needles.
The panel's Chair, Professor Stephen Miller, said: "The panel is in no doubt that Dr Waghorn's misconduct resulted in serious risks to a patient, undermined proper standards of professional behaviour and brought the profession into disrepute.
"There is no evidence of insight or remediation."
The panel heard that Dr Waghorn also received a £2,500 fine at Westminster Magistrates' Court in June, 2011, after he was convicted of carrying on an independent hospital without the required registration.
Challenging the strike off decision, Dr Waghorn argued the composition of the disciplinary panel – a mixture of laymen and medical practitioners registered with the GMC – had not guaranteed him an "independent, competent and impartial" hearing.
However, Mr Justice Phillips said the medic faced an "insuperable obstacle" in pursuing his challenge and it was "difficult to see" how the procedure followed by the GMC panel could be viewed as unfair to him.
The judge concluded: "I therefore reject the application for permission to bring judicial review proceedings. I should further say that this application was totally without merit."