Calls for public inquiry into actions of disgraced neurosurgeon

Professor Sam Eljamel left a woman with life-changing injuries as a result of his medical negligence.

Calls for public inquiry into actions of disgraced NHS Tayside neurosurgeon Sam Eljamel iStock

A Conservative MSP is demanding a public inquiry on behalf of patients who suffered at the hands of a disgraced neurosurgeon.

Liz Smith, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, has written to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf calling for an independent inquiry into the former head of neurosurgery at NHS Tayside, Professor Sam Eljamel.

He was ordered to pay £2.8m in compensation to a woman who was left with life-changing injuries as a result of his medical negligence.

According to the BBC, Jules Rose discovered in 2013 that Prof Eljamel had removed her tear gland instead of a tumour in her brain.

Ms Smith has been acting for other patients of Prof Eljamel and is seeking answers over why he was allowed to continue harming patients.

She accused NHS Tayside of a “lack of accountability” and believes only a full, independent public inquiry will “get to the bottom of what went wrong”.

She said: “Like the constituents I have been representing for several years now, I have tried everything to find the answers that Professor Eljamel’s patients deserve.

“But as these answers have not been forthcoming, I am now demanding the Scottish Government establishes an independent public inquiry.

“It is clear this is the only way left that will resolve matters for the patients who have suffered in pain for such a long time.

“Professor Eljamel destroyed the lives of too many people and yet no-one has ever been held fully accountable for what happened. His former patients deserve justice and to know the truth.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Cabinet Secretary welcomed the opportunity for a personal meeting in this case, where the recent review commissioned by the Scottish Government was discussed and next steps outlined.

“NHS Tayside accepted the findings and recommendations of the review and have committed to work with those affected to provide ongoing support.

“They have made improvements in their systems and processes as a result of their prior internal reviews when concerns about Professor Eljamel’s practice were raised.

“The questions that now remain are ones that can be answered by NHS Tayside rather than Government, and we have been very clear with the board that we expect them to give this the highest priority and continue to support and involve those affected.”

Ms Smith has called for the contents of the report to be made public, but the PA news agency understands it will not be published due to sensitive medical details regarding Prof Eljamel’s former patients.

She said: “In the interests of openness and transparency, the Scottish Government and NHS Tayside should commit to publishing this report.

“If they fail to do so, it will further fuel public suspicion of a cover-up.

“The reason I have called for a full public inquiry is precisely because all efforts to uncover how and why Professor Eljamel was allowed to continue maltreating patients have been thwarted.”

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