AN orthopaedic surgeon accused of failing to provide sufficient care for a patient from near Studley, who died following an operation, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).

The MPTS found all the key facts against Professor James Richardson to be not proven, meaning he could continue working.

The investigation was launched following the 2009 death of businessman Luigi Belcuore, known as Louis to his friends, who suffered a cardiac arrest during a procedure to remove knee cartilage in a clinical trial at a hospital in Shropshire.

The 43-year-old, from Morton Bagot, near Studley, had two young daughters and never lived to know that his wife was pregnant with their third child.

Professor Richardson carried out the procedure and used a piece of equipment used to blow air into the knee joint, which he had modified for the operation.

A tribunal heard allegations he failed to provide good clinical care, had not properly informed Mr Belcuore about the device and had failed to obtain proper consent for its use.

It was also alleged that Professor Richardson’s actions increased the risk of an air embolism but the MPTS decided the four main points against him were not proven.

Panel chairman Michael Menlow said: “This is a tragic case in which a young man lost his life and the panel extends its condolences to his family.”

Last month, Mr Belcuore’s family was awarded an undisclosed payout from The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, which employed Prof Richardson.

The trust has already admitted liability and apologised to the family.