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How can breast surgeon who botched 19 operation still work for the NHS?

 Diane Greenman
Diane Greenman had three extra operations after botched surgery carried out by Puvaneswary Markandoo

A breast cancer surgeon is still allowed to work for the NHS despite botching operations which led to £700,000 in compensation being paid to 19 women.

Many of the patients have suffered agony, disfigurement, trauma and been haunted by flashbacks of surgery.

One cancer victim who has had three additional operations because of complications said the surgeon had ruined her life and another was shocked when she sold her bras during an examination 'like a dodgy market trader'.

Consultant surgeon Puvaneswary Markandoo was suspended on full pay after 35 women, aged between 30 and 65, came forward to complain about problems after operations.

In total, 29 proceeded with compensation claims against the surgeon's employer, the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust has paid out £678,245 to 19 women, at an average settlement of £35,697 each.

Health chiefs admitted negligence in a vast majority of the payout cases. Six claims are outstanding.

But much to the astonishment of her patients, the 62-year-old surgeon has been allowed by the General Medical Council to continue to work for the NHS, although she is banned from private work.

Last year the GMC found her to be deficient in 11 areas of her job including basic surgery and working within laws and regulations.

The authorities decided she could work for an NHS hospital under conditions including supervision and retraining.

Miss Markandoo had been suspended from her £122,000 job for three years and has now left Barnsley Hospital.

The Malaysian-born surgeon, who qualified as a doctor 32 years ago, has moved to London.

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She has done unpaid 'administrative' work at one London hospital but it is not known if she has been carrying out any clinical work.

One patient to receive compensation was Mary Jolly, 57, a grandmother from Barnsley.

She had a mastectomy after getting breast cancer which was followed by reconstructive surgery and an implant.

Her problems began after a breast reduction on the healthy breast carried out by Miss Markandoo.

She suffered constant pain and 'oozing' from the wound. Several further operations followed but she still has pain.

The mother-of-three said: 'Like all those other women I put 100 per cent trust in her and she betrayed that trust.

Sign at entrance to Barnsley Hospital
Compensation: Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has paid out total of £678,245 to 19 women following botched breast operations

'I wish I had never set eyes on her and I find it unbelievable that she can still work in the health service after what she has done.'

'I realised at some point that there was something odd about her.

'Once when I went for an examination she brought two bras out of her drawer and asked if I wanted to buy them. Doctors just don't do that. She seemed then like some dodgy market trader.

'The doctors won't to do any more surgery on me any more to try and put things right because I am diabetic and I don't heal well so I just have to live the situation as it is.'

A spokesman for the hospital trust said: 'Once the trust identified a problem with treatment provided by Miss Markandoo to patients in the Barnsley breast clinic it took the proactive step of setting up an advice line for all those patients possibly affected.

'The trust has worked hard with its insurers and legal advisers to ensure that these matters have been dealt with as quickly and reasonably as possible.'

Miss Markandoo was not available for comment yesterday.

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