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Former BMA chair to face disciplinary panel

Former chairman of the British Medical Association, James Johnson, is due to appear before a disciplinary panel accused of professional misconduct

Former chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), James Johnson, is due to appear before a disciplinary panel today accused of professional misconduct.

Johnson, a vascular surgeon, is accused of performing a number of operations between June 2006 and January 2008 where he did not make some of the patients aware of the potential risks and benefits of surgery. It is also alleged some of the operations were not surgically appropriate, in the patients' interests or performed correctly.

It is also alleged Johnson failed to involve himself properly in patients' post-operative care. He failed to communicate appropriately with his colleagues and patients and, on one occasion in January 2008, shouted at a patient and staff assisting him.

Johnson was the public face of the BMA, which represents 140,000 doctors, for almost half of the 19-month period in which the General Medical Council (GMC) is investigating his conduct. He typically worked at its London headquarters from Monday to Thursday and practised as a surgeon on Fridays.

He became the BMA leader in July 2003 but resigned suddenly in May 2007 after a grassroots revolt was sparked when he gave the union's support to the then chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, in the protracted row over the government's botched attempt to overhaul junior doctors' training through the heavily criticised Modernising Medical Careers Initiative.

Johnson, who practises at the Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in, Cheshire, will have to give evidence at the GMC hearing in Manchester.

The hearing is due to finish in November.

20th September 2010

From: Healthcare

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