Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has this week concluded a comprehensive investigation into the care of 1,200 prostate and bladder cancer patients by a former Consultant Urologist of the Trust.
Based upon each patient’s clinical history, an external panel of consultant urologists found that 27 patients came to harm because of the treatment they received under the former Trust Urologist’s care. In addition, the care of a small number of patients fell below the standards we would expect, however these same experts felt they have not been harmed as a consequence. There are no concerns about the care received by the remaining patients.
The Trust has established a hotline for patients and their next of kin to talk with a consultant or a nurse specialist about any of their concerns of aspects of their care. The lines are open Monday to Friday, between 11am-7pm, and the number is 0808 168 7754 (tollfree).
Des Holden, the Trust’s Medical Director, said “On behalf of the Trust, I apologise unreservedly for the errors in these patients’ treatment. I acknowledge and appreciate that the outcome of the clinical review and the content of the letters will be deeply distressing to our patients and their families and I am very sorry. I would encourage patients and their families to telephone the helpline if it would be of benefit.”
The Royal College of Surgeons were invited into the Trust, by Medical Director Des Holden, to review the care of patients with cancer either of the bladder or prostate. As a consequence of the review, they recommended the Trust perform a detailed clinical review of 1,200 prostate and bladder cancer patients treated by the Trust’s former Consultant Urologist from 2006 to 2013. Professor Rane, the Trust’s Lead Consultant for Urology, led the review with consultant colleagues, cancer nurse specialists and external consultant urologists.
Following suspension and an internal investigation, the Consultant Urologist is no longer employed at the Trust. In addition, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has imposed conditions on his clinical practice, such that he is currently unable to provide any treatment for patients with urological cancer, pending the outcome of the General Medical Council (GMC)’s formal investigation.