Hoffified patients have lashed out at a Paddington hospital after it revealed blundering surgeons who removed a woman's organ by mistake will not be suspended immediately.
The female patient was admitted for a gynaecological procedure at St Mary's Hospital, in Praed Street, but surgeons accidentally removed her gall bladder during keyhole surgery two weeks ago. After realising they had carried out the procedure on the wrong patient, doctors then treated the woman for her original problem.
But Imperial College Healthcare Trust, which runs St Mary's, has revealed no staff have been suspended following the error.
Other St Mary's patients, including Mary Amayo of Bourne Terrace, Westbourne Green, now say they fear the incident was not a 'one-off'.
Ms Amayo, who receives regular check-ups at the hospital, said: "This is a terrible case, and I'm very concerned about it. The person who did this should be struck off to give the community peace of mind about any time they have to spend in hospital.
"I'm disgusted to think that such a thing could happen in a first-class hospital like St Mary's."
A spokeswoman for Imperial College Healthcare Trust, which runs St Mary's, said an investigation had been launched following the terrifying error.
But she said: "In accordance with national guidelines, staff can only be excluded from work to protect the interests of patients or staff or if their presence is likely to impede the process of a formal investigation. "The Trust has found in this case that no members of staff were found to fulfil the above criteria. We are satisfied that no patients are at risk whilst this investigation is underway."
The spokeswoman added that an apology has been issued to the woman, who has returned home. Any disciplinary action, including referral to the General Medical Council, will be subject to the outcome of an investigation.