Families left devastated by a disgraced former Blackpool surgeon have spoken of their relief after he abandoned his plans to become a registered doctor again.
The Gazette broke the news last week that Steven Walker, who was found guilty of serious professional misconduct and struck off the Medical Register in 2005 after a series of operations left four women dead and six others maimed, wanted to be restored to the Medical Register.
A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing was due to take place in Manchester tomorrow and Friday.
But, yesterday, The Gazette learned Walker, who worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital from 1995 to 1999 and was dubbed ‘Dr Death’ by reports at the time, contacted Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service yesterday to say that for “personal reasons”, he was withdrawing his application.
Our original exclusive report, published last Wednesday, sparked outrage among the families who have suffered at Walker’s hands.
Walker pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Dorothy McPhee, who died aged 71, in 1995 following an operation to remove a tumour from her liver.
She suffered catastrophic blood loss during the procedure.
Walker walked free from the Old Bailey after being handed a 21-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Today, Mrs McPhee’s husband Donald said: “I am relieved this is over because it’s gone on for too long.
“I would like to think he wouldn’t have been able to register, but you never know in this day and age.”
Walker was also charged with killing Jean Robinson, 66 – who died after an operation during which he perforated her bowel – and Margaret Wilson, 63, who lost 20 litres of blood after an operation to remove a bowel tumour in 1998.
That charge, together with a charge of the theft of hospital documents, was ordered to lie on file.
Mrs Robinson’s daughter, Bev Carroll, said: “I am relieved this isn’t going to appeal, but I can’t believe it got as far as it did.
“When we heard about his plans to be restored to the Register we were all just in a state of shock and disbelief that he would have the cheek to practice again.”
Neil Saville, of West Drive, Cleveleys, says his mother, Mabel Saville, 87, was the last patient to be operated on by Walker in Christmas 1998.
She died three months later, having lost four litres of blood in a bowel operation carried out by the surgeon.
He said: “It is a relief that he is not going to practise again. I only hope he will not change his mind and apply again.”