ROGUE doctor Professor Sam Eljamel may have harmed more than 200 patients, a woman campaigning for a public inquiry into the surgeon has said.
Professor Eljamel worked at NHS Tayside between 1995 and 2013, when he was suspended by the board following three months of “indirect supervision” as a result of complaints – with the supervision deemed “inadequate” in a report released this week.
He also faced a legal claim in February 2013, but operated on 111 patients in the following six months.
Jules Rose, who was one of his patients, has been vocally campaigning for a public inquiry.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland on Friday, Rose said she had not been comforted by the contents of the new NHS Tayside report.
“It’s actually the opposite,” she said. “I currently have 133 patient names who have approached me who have been severely harmed.
“NHS Tayside have explained in their report that they have another 111 patients that have been potentially at risk under surgery with Eljamel from June to December 2013.
“Of these 111 new patients, I only know five of these patients. So potentially, now, we’re looking at 239 patients that have been severely harmed under NHS Tayside and Professor Eljamel.
“Literally, this number has increased overnight.”
Rose said independent reviews into patient experiences with Eljamel “will not wash” with those impacted.
“All the patients know what’s happened to them, we don’t need to have what they’re claiming to be independent reports into their care, we need to get back to a public inquiry so that people can be put under oath to explain what exactly went on in NHS Tayside,” she said.
“We’re talking about from 1995, Eljamel was harming patients.”
In a statement released after the report was published on Thursday, Health Secretary Michael Matheson (below) hinted at further action, but it is not clear if this could be the calling of a public inquiry or a reference to the independent commission being launched by ministers to support impacted patients.
He said: “This is a thorough report and lays bare some of the failings in NHS Tayside’s response to concerns over Professor Eljamel.
“It is clear from this review that these were not acted upon with the urgency they deserved.
“What is important now is that those people directly affected are supported to find the answers they need, and that both staff and patients across Scotland know lessons are being learned.
“For that to happen properly, I have been clear that this needs investigation independent of both NHS Tayside and the Scottish Government.
“We will provide more details on this shortly.”
Rose said the Scottish Government “keep trying to deflect” from a public inquiry.
A statement from NHS Tayside’s executive medical director Dr Pamela Johnston after the report said: “I have written to the patients who had their operation between June 21, 2013 and December 10, 2013 to inform them about the findings of the review and to sincerely apologise on behalf of the board.
“We are offering support to them in a number of ways and there is a dedicated team to help them with any questions and concerns they may have going forward.
“The Scottish Government review, which reported in 2022, looked at the concerns of some patients of Professor Eljamel and gave recommendations to NHS Tayside, which included taking further action to investigate areas of ongoing concern of patients and the decision-making around the practical arrangements for the supervision of Professor Eljamel in 2013.
“Today’s report is the conclusion of that further action, but we recognise that many former patients remain understandably very upset and unhappy with what has happened.
“NHS Tayside apologises to former patients of the surgeon and remains committed to do whatever is required to support the independent commission which is being set up by Scottish Government to respond to patients’ ongoing concerns.”
Former patients of Prof Eljamel with concerns have been asked to contact TAY.firstname.lastname@example.org.