Dr Laurence Marshman.
Dr Laurence Marshman.

Surgeon facing sacking sues critics

A Queensland neurosurgeon asked to resign or show cause why he shouldn't be sacked after his skills were criticised by three senior surgical colleagues, has gone to court to quash their adverse reports.

Laurence Marshman, a UK-born neurosurgeon at Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS), says that THHS chief executive Kieran Keyes told him "his trust and confidence" in Dr Marshman had been significantly affected by the findings and recommendations in two official reports.

Mr Keyes told Dr Marshman he could either "show cause" why he shouldn't be sacked or resign due to the "adverse" findings in the reports.



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Details of Dr Marshman's stoush with the THHS were revealed in the Supreme Court when he filed an application asking a judge to quash or set aside the "adverse" reports which scrutinise his patient care.

Dr Marshman alleges that an August 5 report by three senior members of his profession from outside Townsville which made "adverse" findings against him involved an error of law, was not authorised by legislation governing hospitals, and was an improper exercise of power.

The August 5 report was compiled from a review of Dr Marshman's work by senior neurosurgeon's Leigh Atkinson, from Spring Hill in Brisbane, Graeme Brazenor, from Melbourne and NZ neurosurgeon Ronald Boet, from Christchurch, court documents state.

The three clinical reviewers were asked to assess Dr Marshman's "surgical outcomes", his professionalism and his management of "pre-operative/diagnostic, operative and post-operative phases.

Dr Marshman also alleges that a second report by workplace investigator Alex Goudie, from QWorkplace Solutions, dated August 18 involved an error of law, was not authorised by legislation governing hospitals and was made without jurisdiction, according to Dr Marshman's application for the court to review the probe, filed in the Supreme Court.

He argues Mr Goudie's report includes a review of an operation where Dr Marshman only "assisted" another surgeon.

The case is due in court in Brisbane on Thursday.

Dr Marshman's solicitor did not respond to requests for comment.

The THHS said it does not comment on matters before the court.




Originally published as Surgeon facing sacking sues critics