Surgeon launches court bid to vindicate reputation

A WORLD renowned surgeon whose career was blighted by findings of “deficient professional performance” yesterday mounted a High Court bid to vindicate his reputation.

A WORLD renowned surgeon whose career was blighted by findings of “deficient professional performance” yesterday mounted a High Court bid to vindicate his reputation.

Shankar Kashyap, who has worked at Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for nearly 20 years, launched his judicial review challenge to a decision of the General Medical Council (GMC) that his “fitness to practise” was impaired. The GMC’s findings against Mr Kashyap, of Baronswood, Gosforth, Newcastle, were reached despite his long and unblemished record at the hospital - including a four-year stint as clinical director responsible for orthopaedics.

His QC, John Hendy, said the GMC’s ruling was an unjustified “slur on his career”, coming after 14 years’ exemplary practice as a consultant surgeon at the pinnacle of the medical hierarchy.

The GMC – the professional body which regulates doctors – took action against Mr Kashyap after receiving a letter of complaint from a locum orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital.

An assessment concluded that his performance was “unacceptable” in relation to core surgical knowledge, some surgical skills, and specialist aptitude, resulting in Mr Kashyap’s case being referred to the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Panel.

The panel heard his case during three sessions last year, culminating in its decision against the surgeon in February.

The GMC has yet to decide what, if any, sanction to impose on Mr Kashyap – with a hearing on that issue scheduled for next month.

But his case reached London’s High Court today as he sought to overturn the decision on his fitness to practise, which his lawyers claimed was unjust and irrational.

The hearing, before Mr Justice Mitting, continues.

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