Health board review over botched operations surgeon

time:2023-06-02 13:55:18 source:CNN (Cable News Network)

Health Secretary Michael Matheson is launching an independent review of NHS Tayside in relation to disgraced former head of neurosurgery Sam Eljamel.

Mr Matheson made the announcement at a meeting with NHS Tayside chief executive Grant Archibald and MSPs.

It follows years of revelations about Prof Eljamel.

The surgeon harmed dozens of patients but was allowed to continue operating until he removed himself from the GMC register in 2013.

He is now working as a surgeon in Libya.

In November last year, BBC Scotland revealed an internal Scottish government report into Prof Eljamel which said the health board repeatedly let patients down.

It outlined failures in the way Prof Eljamel was supervised and the board's communication with patients.

The report was commissioned over unanswered questions and concerns from patients Jules Rose and Pat Kelly.

Mr Kelly has been left housebound and Ms Rose has PTSD after the neurosurgeon removed the wrong part of her body in 2013. He removed her tear gland instead of a tumour on her brain.

She still has not been told exactly when health bosses knew Prof Eljamel was a risk to patients.

In response to the latest announcement, Ms Rose said she still wanted a public inquiry and was nervous that any kind of independent review would not provide answers or redress.

She said there were now 75 former patients of Prof Eljamel wanting to find out what happened.

"I have still not got answers two years on from the independent review of my case commissioned by the Scottish government so how can I be reassured that this new independent review will help patients?" she told BBC Scotland.

"What about redress and compensation for patients? What about the patients who have had their notes lost or destroyed?

"Me and the 74 other patients want a face-to-face meeting with NHS Tayside. Up until now we have just had stalling."

The Scottish government said it would reveal details of the independent review in the next two to three weeks.

NHS Tayside said it had agreed to work with the Scottish government on the next steps to support individual patients.

The meeting with the NHS Tayside chief included Conservative MSP Liz Smith, Lib Dem Willie Rennie and SNP ministers John Swinney and Shona Robison, who represent constituents affected by Prof Eljamel.

Mr Matheson told the BBC: "I want to put someone in place who would act independently of the health board that will engage directly with those patients who want their individual cases to be investigated, to look at exactly what happened in their individual cases to try to answer the questions they may have as well, but also to provide them with the information about what has changed since that particular episode happened within the health board.

"I want to create a process that they think they can trust, that is independent of the health board, independent of government, that gives them answers to their unanswered questions."

Conservative MSP Liz Smith, who has led calls for a public inquiry, told the BBC that Mr Matheson was very robust in the meeting.

She said there was "no way Mr Matheson is going to let NHS Tayside mark its own homework".

Ms Smith said: "Mr Matheson was very clear that past processes have not provided answers nor transparency to patients.

"Mr Matheson told us he will come back to us in the next two to three weeks with the details of what this independent process will look like.

"Ultimately if this still does not provide answers then we will need to have a public inquiry but I think Mr Matheson and others feel that a public inquiry could take years and this is just too long for some of these patients."

Related content
Latest content
Recommended content
Hot content