Rope-A-Dope: Leading Facial Surgeon Removed From Hospital Panel After Repeatedly Punching Patient In Face During Surgery

220px-Bellows_George_Dempsey_and_Firpo_1924Professor Ninian Peckitt, 63, is under fire this month after the facial surgeon shocked colleagues by asking another doctor to hold the head of an unconscious patient and proceeded to punch the patient in the face up to ten times “like a boxer.” Now, this was not some pay back for an insult in a bar. Peckitt wanted to move a cheekbone back into place and decided to use a more Muhammad Ali approach.

While accounts say that colleagues at Ipswich Hospital gasped at the sight, a dental surgeon did apparently hold the head of the patient who was unconscious under anaesthesia.

The patient’s cheekbone had become displaced when he fell out of bed at the hospital – requiring a second procedure.

This account is fascinating from a torts perspective. The doctor could claim that there is no alternative but to force the bone back into place and that, while shocking to watch, it is before than surgically cutting the bone. He could further note that physicians force bones back into place in a variety of circumstances and that he was using a series of hits to do the same. Presumably, if he had used an instrument to do this procedure, it would have been less controversial but he could argue that using his fist gave him better control and feeling in moving the bone.

There is also the unreported issue of whether he was in fact successful in moving the bone. However, there is a report that the patient was in fact injured and could have been left blinded by the action. A second operation was carried out to reduce the fracture to the left zygomatic bone.

Peckitt was working as an honorary locum consultant in oral and maxillo-facial surgery at Ipswich Hospital but has been “erased” from the medical register after his knock out round in surgery. The panel chairman, Dr. Ian Spafford said: “The panel has determined that Mr Peckitt’s misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with his continuing to practice medicine . . . the medical register. In the light of all the evidence presented to it, it is satisfied that erasure is a proportionate sanction in his case.”

Source: Daily Mail

52 thoughts on “Rope-A-Dope: Leading Facial Surgeon Removed From Hospital Panel After Repeatedly Punching Patient In Face During Surgery”

  1. I’ve worked on some of Professor Peckitt’s solutions and ideas for treatment in the past – all involvement was from a technical perspective. Having worked with other similarly qualified surgeons I would categorise Peckitt’s ideas and techniques and being out of step with common practice, and that he is unwilling to listen to others opinions, often leading to patient risk and in some cases poor patient outcomes.

    The suggestion of Peckitt being targeted in general by medical professionals because he is different is probably highly likely to be true, but not because he is revolutionary or challenging convention, but simply because at times he is outright dangerous. Naturally this comment can be viewed as an on-going part of such a conspiracy – but for one I would highly recommend never working with this gentleman.

    1. A sharp tongue is no indication of a keen mind…..

      I just wonder why this comment has been posted now?

      There is no doubt that when Engineering Assisted Suregery was conceived, ideas were out of context with existing practice and it is very interesting that these ideas which were criticised then, are now being used by the severest critics.

      The most important thing is the patient and they should be the key member of the team. Some cases are incredibly difficult and are referred because of failure of traditional reconstructive surgery. In New Zealand I flew Engineers out from UK to plan cases within a University setting. One planning module took 5 days brainstorming to plan with engineers. Internet clinics were also used to plan cases with clinicians in Australia and USA on a global setting. So I’m not sure about some of the sentiments expressed but I’m sure there will be a good reason.

      There is evidence that the reduction of surgical trauma 3-D printing affords reduces risk rather than increases risk. Trauma is a product of the surgical force to carry out a procedure multiplied by the length of time the force is used. So if a 13 hr case can be done as a day case in 1.5 hrs eg total maxillectomy, this can only improve safety. And we have had these implants in for >15yrs.

      It is quite impossible to do this work without close teamwork and surgeons do not possess the engineering skills required for complex CAD-CAM to manufacture in 3-D. And similarly, Engineers lack the surgical experience to make these devices with no reference to the surgical pathological anatomy. A’s well as engineers ceramist and dental laboratory input is essential as well as the services of a restorative dentist.

      We have come a long way in 20 years and what matters is that the technology is now accepted in mainstream surgery.

      And for this to happen it has certainly been an uphill struggle against the Establishment, and and those with vested interests elsewhere, but we are yet to have a perioperative death with EAS.

      And what was the most unexpected observation of all, was that in a series of 44 patients we had a mortality rate of 3/44 6.8%) at 4.5 years (7 with custom implants – 1 lost). This is against an expected mortality of 50-70%. This is clinically and statistically significant.

      This low mortality has never been explained…..

      My successes and failures from the early cases are posted on

      And as for me it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks. The most important thing is to think about the patient.

  2. CIA Torture and Doctors

    This sort of story brings Medical Regulation into some sort of perspective and I shall be interested to see if any CIA doctors are disciplined. In fact it is an interesting observation that the government does not appear to have commenced proceedings already? Or maybe this is an example of Best Practice and I haven’t been on the right CPD training courses? However, it would appear that the GMC thinks I have the credentials to run such a course.

    In the UK I understand that the Crown Prosecution Service is currently examining evidence to decide if a criminal prosecution can be brought against the NHS Trust in question and the General Medical Council with respect to perversion of the course of justice. I believe this is historic?

    In the UK a letter calling for an urgent judicial review of medical management at NHS Grampian has been sent to Scottish Health Secretary, Shona Robison. It has been signed by a group of mainly retired medical staff, and criticises the treatment of whistle blowers at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

    The letter also accused the health board of “appearing to go completely against the clear public interest of effective and stable service delivery” in dealing with two suspended surgeons. The letter stated: “Last year, with the departure of most of the executive board members from NHS Grampian, including the chairman, CEO and medical director, and with the publication of the report from Health Improvement Scotland, many people felt relief that NHS Grampian was now on course to recover from the catastrophically self-destructive process which had incrementally been eroding patient care while dramatically inflating expenditure by replacing established staff with temporary locums.

    This case mirrors Ipswich Hospital and the conduct of the GMC in my own fitness to practise hearing. It is my case that a judicial review can never address issues related to a dysfunctional statutory body which for example is currently under Police/CPS investigation for perverting the course of justice. A Judicial Review does address issues of departure from procedure. But if we have a potentially corrupt body that permits unethical practice in the first place, such as rationing of services resulting in fatality, association in the torture of suspects or in euthanising certain groups of the population as in Germany in the 1940’s, “due process” appears to have little meaning – if the standards of practice are unacceptable to the Medical Profession in the first place. And yet departure from standards of practice by a statutory body does not seem to be the basis for an appeal in law. This would imply that a corrupt body can operate with impunity – as long as it sticks to accepted procedure? If this is justice then I’m a Dutchman, with apologies to all my esteemed Dutch colleagues.

    My appeal against the GMC decision has been filed and if there is interest I will advise you of the outcome.

    I shall be representing myself as I can find no pro bono lawyer.

  3. I received this email yesterday:

    Dear Professor Peckitt

    Thank you for your e-mails concerning your ongoing issue with the General Medical Council.

    A review of the evidence provided by yourself has been completed and a crime has been recorded of Perverting the Course of Justice.

     As the matter concerns the GMC  and their head office is based in London which is covered by the Metropolitan Police area Suffolk Police have completed an out of force crime ref OF/15/216.

    This has been passed to the Metropolitan Police to investigate who will be making contact with yourself to progress this matter.

    Kind Regards

    Crime Bureau Suffolk Police

    1. ninian peckitt wrote: “Thank you for your e-mails concerning your ongoing issue with the General Medical Council. A review of the evidence provided by yourself has been completed and a crime has been recorded of Perverting the Course of Justice.”

      Wait, what? Are you saying that sending the GMC e-mails constituted the crime of “Perverting the Course of Justice”?

  4. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes” Twain?

    “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Churchill?

    Whoever said it, it certainly seems to be true, in many cases.

Comments are closed.