A Savage Enquiry

December 27, 1986 A Savage Enquiry Roger Jeffery IN April 1985, Wendy Savage's contract as a Consultant Obstetrician Senior Lecturer at the London Hospital Medical School was suspended. 'Suspension', as a means of discipline, is rarely used in the NHS. The procedure partly prejudges the issues in question, since the accused is punished before she has a chance to 'defend herself, and so it is usually involved only when serious malpractice is invoked. But in this case, the accusation was of alleged incompetence; and the specific complaint rested on five cases selected from Wendy Savage's case-load of 800 women delivered by her under her supervision during fourteen months in 1983-84. Other people saw Savage's competence in a different light: this became clear in June 1985, when she received the award of Fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, granted (as always) for "advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology".

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