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Alban Barros D’Sa

1. Biography. Source: Debrett's People of Today, July 2003
2. Key Press Reports:
a. Hospital Doctor. Date: 17 April 2003. Is there no way back from a suspension?
b. Coventry Evening Telegraph. 25 October 2002. 'Let my legacy be keyhole surgery'
3. Other references.

Biography from Debrett's People of Today, July 2003

First Names: Alban Avelino John

Parentage: s of Inacio Francisco Purificacao Saude D'Sa (d 1978), of London, and Maria Eslinda Inez, nee Barros (d 1998)

Date of Birth: 25 October 1937

Education: Teacher Training Coll Nairobi Kenya,
West Ham Coll London,
Univ of Bristol (MB ChB, LRCP, MRCS, FRCSEdin, FRCS Eng)

Marriage/Children: 22 July 1972, Gwenda Anne, da of Richard Arthur Davies (d 2002), of Coventry; 1 da (Sonia Helen b 4 Sept 1974), 1 s (Ian James b 30 April 1976)

Career: house surgn and physician Bristol Royal Infirmary 1967-68, memb staff Faculty of Anatomy Univ of Bristol 1968-69, sr house offr in surgery (renal transplantion, orthopaedic, general, traumatic and cardio-thoracic surgery) Bristol Royal Infirmary, Southmead and Frenchay Hosps 1969-71, registrar in surgery and urology Musgrove Park Hosp Taunton 1971-74, Pfizer res fell (also tutor in surgery and hon sr registrar) Royal Postgrad Med Sch and Hammersmith Hosp 1974-75, sr registrar in gen and vascular surgery Univ Hosp of Wales Cardiff and Singleton Hosp Swansea, conslt surgn Univ Hosps, Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Tst 1979-2002, clinical teacher Dept of Surgery Leicester Warwick Med Sch 2001-02, clinical dir of surgery St Cross Hosp Rugby 1990-93, surgical tutor RCS England 1987-93; examiner (FRCS) in gen surgery for RCS Edinburgh 1990-, tutor in laparoscopic surgery for RCS England 1995-, convenor of laparoscopic surgery courses for Minimally Access Therapy Trg Unit RCS England 1996-, external conslt assessor to Health Serv Ombudsman 1999-, examiner in surgery Univ of Leicester 2002-, examiner in surgery Univ of Warwick 2002-; visiting lectr in laparoscopic surgery Goa Med Sch Univ of Goa 1995,, invited guest lectr on complications of laparoscopic surgery XXth Annual Conf Delhi State Chapter Assoc of Surgns of India 2002; memb Ct Univ of Bristol 1969-97; sr memb: Br Soc of Gastroenterology, Midland Gastroenterology Assoc, Midland Surgical Soc, Rugby and Dist Med Soc; fndr memb Assoc of Endoscopic Surgns of GB and Ireland, sr fell Assoc of Surgns GB and Ireland; memb: Warwicks Medico-legal Soc, BMA; FRCS (ad eundem) 1997

Books: Rhoads Textbook of Surgery (contrib chapter 5 edn, 1977); author of numerous pubns in med jls on oesophageal, gastric, pancreatic, vascular and thyroid surgery

Recreation: travel, golf

Usual name: Alban Barros D'Sa, Esq

Address: 40 Nightingale Lane, Westwood Gardens, Coventry CV5 6AY (Tel: and fax 024 7667 5181, e-mail; 5 Davenport Road, Coventry CV5 6QA; Central Surgery, Corporation Street, Rugby (Tel: 024 7667 7838, 024 7667 2997, fax 024 7671 3822, mobile 079 9058 7505).

Is there no way back from a suspension?
Successful case

As they wait for justice, perhaps both doctors will gain encouragement from the success of Mr Alban Barros D'Sa, a gastroenterological and laparoscopic surgeon who won a high-profile court battle with his chief executive at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. Mr Barros D'Sa found his career was severely threatened after he blew the whistle on high surgical mortality rates among a colleague's patients.

He was suspended in September 1999, but a disciplinary panel ruled seven months later that his dismissal would be wholly unjustified. However, the trust refused to reinstate the surgeon, this time stating that he had shown a lack of confidence in the chief executive.

The lengthy case was aired in the House of Commons and the High Court, and Mr Barros D'Sa was supported by an 8,000-strong petition and a vote of confidence from 99 consultants. The affair culminated in a highly publicised Appeal Court hearing in June 2001, in which judges upheld the recommendation for reinstatement and severely criticised the trust's management.

Mr Barros D'Sa received a hero's welcome when he returned to his job in July 2001. The chief executive stood down in March 2002 after a long campaign to oust him over the debacle.

Throughout his suspension, Mr Barros D'Sa's great fear was that his case would be timed out by his rapidly approaching retirement date.

He says: 'I was due to retire in October 2002. All along I was worried that the case would be strung out and I would retire while still suspended. Fortunately, I was back in my job for 18 months before the date came up.'

Mr Barros D'Sa's case ended happily, largely because his clinical colleagues were on his side and voiced their support - and because he had the energy to fight a hard campaign. But most doctors who are cleared of allegations prefer to find a job elsewhere.

Source: 25 October 2002 Coventry Evening Telegraph
'Let my legacy be keyhole surgery'.
By KAREN HAMBRIDGE Health Reporter.
'Let my legacy be keyhole surgery'.


TRIBUTE has been paid to a Coventry surgeon who is retiring from the NHS after more than two decades of caring for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire.

Alban Barros D'Sa, a one-time controversial figure at Walsgrave Hospital, was praised for his intellectual ability and his overriding commitment to patients and the community by hospital chairman Bryan Stoten.

Mr Stoten's warm wishes and recognition of a distinguished career came at Mr Barros D'Sa's retirement party, which was also attended by hospital chief executive David Roberts, as well as close colleagues and friends.

It was a poignant symbol of how times have changed at Walsgrave and the trust which runs it, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

Just last year, Mr Barros D'Sa was in the middle of a messy and very public dispute with the trust, fighting a lengthy suspension imposed after he was said to have oppressed a more junior doctor.

The 65-year-old general surgeon won two High Court cases against the hospital trust and was finally allowed back to work 20 months after he was first sent home.

Mr Barros D'Sa, who has spent 24 years in the NHS, after first training as a teacher, said he did not wish to dwell on the past but added: "I think the most important thing is that we have a new trust and we have managers that are doing their utmost to change the whole culture of the hospital."

He told party guests that coming to work in Coventry and Warwickshire was one of the most pleasant experiences of his life.

And he thanked Mr Stoten for arranging his retirement party and inviting his wife Gwenda, making his departure another "very pleasant experience."

Mr Barros D'Sa was presented with gifts including an engraved silver plate and a digital camera.

He said he hoped his legacy would be that he pushed forward surgery in the area.

During the early days of keyhole surgery, he pioneered the technique in Coventry and Warwickshire. And in two weeks time, he will travel to India to speak to the All India Association of Surgeons on the practice.

"If I have contributed in that way, then I am happy about that," he said.

Mr Barros D'Sa will continue in private practice as well as maintaining his role as an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.

27 Mar. 2001. House of Commons Adjourment Debate. Excerpts
Mr. Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry, North-West): The problems of today started back in September 1999 with a whistleblowing incident.
In 1999, three surgeons at Coventry blew the whistle on surgeons in the colorectal department because of the peri-operative mortality rate. One of the whistleblowers was Mr. Alban Barros D'Sa, who remains suspended. The immediate reaction to the whistleblowing was to suspend one of the whistleblowers…
It is important to stress that Mr. D'Sa's professional competence has not been questioned. No one claims that he is anything other than a good surgeon. When we are so desperately short of cancer surgeons and others--colorectal work is associated with cancer problems--how can a surgeon of acknowledged competence and with an undisputed professional reputation be left idle for 18 months?...
I hate to say it, but the management was humiliatingly defeated at the injunction hearing…
For full text click here. Column 937 to 944.

16 May 2001. Coventry Evening Telegraph.
Surgeons in revolt on discipline. Surgeons at Coventry's Walsgrave Hospital have passed a no-confidence vote in the hospital trust's disciplinary procedures. The vote, by 99 to 47, comes against a background of two surgeons being suspended on full pay for more than a year - Alban Barros D'Sa and Briony Ackroyd. For full text click here.

19 May 2001. Coventry Evening Telegraph.

Public meeting to support surgeon. Dozens of posters have been circulated in the city advertising the event, which has attracted interest from national news media. They read “Scandal at Walsgrave Hospital - justice for Mr Barros D’Sa, Consultant Surgeon”. For full text click here

12 June 2001.
Coventry Evening Telegraph.
Surgeon fight steps up. The Alban Barros D'Sa support committee is collecting signatures for a petition which states: "This is a case of gross injustice, an enormous waste of public money and denies the people of Coventry, Rugby and the surrounding area of the skills of a dedicated surgeon." For full text click here.

15 June 2001. Coventry Evening Telegraph.
Support shown for suspended surgeon. More than 300 protesters turned out for a public meeting calling for a suspended surgeon to be reinstated at Coventry’s Walsgrave Hospital. They gave unanimous support for the case of Dr Alban Barros D’Sa who has been off work for 20 months. Coventry Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson spoke of his disgust at the suspension as he chaired the public meeting at Allesley Hotel last night. For full text click here.

19 June 2001.
Coventry Evening Telegraph.
Court blow for hospital. Walsgrave Hospital bosses have lost a battle in London's High Court over the controversial suspension of a surgeon - but say they are determined to press ahead with a dismissal hearing. Three Appeal Court judges yesterday ruled against the Coventry hospital and in favour of Mr Alban Barros D'sa, who has been suspended for 20 months. For full text click here.

2 July 2001.
Coventry Evening Telegraph.
How trouble all began. Mr Barros D'Sa was suspended in October 1999, shortly after he raised concerns about the high mortality rate in Walsgrave Hospital's bowel surgery department. For full text click here.

7 July 2001.
Coventry Evening Telegraph.

Surgeon wins job back.

Suspended Coventry surgeon Alban Barros D'Sa has been dramatically reinstated following a disciplinary hearing at Walsgrave Hospital… John Ross, chairman of the Alban Barros D'Sa Campaign Committee, said he was "delighted" but added: "The reinstatement does not remove the injustice that this talented and caring surgeon, his family and the patients denied his expertise have suffered for some 20 months. However, he is now returning to Walsgrave to help the people of Coventry and Warwickshire, which is wonderful news. We wish him success and my committee would like to thank the general public who gave their whole-hearted support, which made all the difference."
Campaigner Geoffrey Robinson, the MP for Coventry Northwest, said: "That's wonderful news, that's very good news.” For full text click here.

9 July 2001. Coventry Evening Telegraph.

First day back at work for surgeon. Dr Jean Archer-Hall, a retired Coventry doctor from Earlsdon, was a member of the committee which fought to reinstate the popular surgeon. She said: "He has been very dignified all the time - I don't know how he survived. It was so unfair and I was very cross - I'm one of those oldfashioned people who believes in English fair play.” For full text click here.

24 July 2001
The University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust has only just resolved a long-running case in which a surgeon who had warned that operations by a colleague had worryingly high mortality rates was suspended for 20 months. Alban Barros D'Sa returned to work on Tuesday after a lengthy battle with management which twice reached the High Court.
A petition supporting Mr Barros d'Sa received 8000 signatures and the surgeon was also backed by Geoffrey Robinson, MP for Coventry North.
But senior medical staff at the hospital say that Mr Barros D'Sa's case is merely the tip of the iceberg.

28 Nov. 2001. House of Commons Adjourment Debate. Excerpts:

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry, North–West): We saw that in the case where Mr. Loughton attempted to abuse correspondence between my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Mr. Cunningham) and one of his constituents, a distinguished consultant surgeon at the hospital. Mr. Loughton tried to use a letter as a reason for suspending, confirming the suspension of, and obtaining the dismissal of that fine, distinguished surgeon. Mr. Loughton would not listen to reason. He went to the high court, then to a higher court still. Each time his arguments were demolished, and each time he had to run away in shame, all at a cost to the long-suffering taxpayers of Coventry of £250,000…
Andy King (Rugby and Kenilworth): My hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, North–West (Mr. Robinson) said that, if the worst comes to the worst, we shall hold a public meeting on the issue. I can tell hon. Members and the Minister that there is no building in Rugby big enough to hold the people who would turn out to have Mr. David Loughton removed… For full text click here

23 July 2002. File On 4.
Excerpt: Alban Barros D’Sa wasn’t the only doctor to feel intimidated at Walsgrave Hospital. We tried to interview others at the centre of the affair, but they told us they were too afraid for their careers to go on the record.
Transcript at:

16 Oct. 2002. Coventry Evening Telegraph.
Suspended surgeon retires.
Some 8,000 people signed a petition calling for Mr Barros D’Sa to be reinstated during the lengthy campaign. For full text click here

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