Surgeon Sudip Sarker Investigated Following Concerns About Patient Deaths

Medical Law Experts Urge Anyone Concerned To Call Helpline

19/06/2013

By Helen MacGregor

Expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell representing patients and their families who were under the care of cancer surgeon Sudip Sarker have urged anyone concerned about the care they received to call a specialist helpline as soon as possible.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ‘excluded Mr Sarker, a consultant colorectal surgeon, in October last year and the General Medical Council (GMC) has placed restrictions on his license to practice following concerns about the deaths of a number of his patients.

However despite the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) recommending that there should be a review of all his patient case notes, the ongoing investigation has not been made public to those involved by the Trust – an issue medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell find ‘appalling’ given the severity of the allegations.

Mr Sarker began working for the Trust in August 2011, specialising in colon and bowel cancer treatment with keyhole surgery. He treated patients at Alexandra and Worcester Royal Hospital in Redditch and performed work for a number of private hospitals.

A whistleblower revealed that the RCS was asked to examine his patient death rate and the levels of patients suffering post-operation complications. It is also alleged that just over one-in-five of his patients had to be re-admitted following treatment by him, while a higher than average number of patients ended up having operations that were different to what they had expected.

Jennifer Emerson, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office is representing a number of families who have lost loved ones while under Mr Sarker’s care. She said: “It is appalling that despite a recommendation by the RCS the ongoing investigation has not being made public leaving concerned patients and their families effectively in limbo wondering what has gone wrong, why and what is being done to prevent it from happening again.

“My clients, other patients and their families who believe they fell victim to negligent surgery by Mr Sarker deserve answers about the investigation and the Trust should also be looking to provide reassurance that everything possible is being done to get to the bottom of how he was allowed to make such potential grave errors.

“We welcome the helpline that has been set up by the Trust and encourage anyone concerned about their or a loved one’s treatment to make contact as soon as possible so they can be given further treatment if necessary or help with the ongoing enquiry.”

Mr Sarker is currently registered to practise in his specialism, but not as a general surgeon and he has conditions on his licence, according to the GMC.

These include a requirement to inform the watchdog if he wants to work with any other hospital or health body, or work abroad. He is allowed to practise his specialism only – colorectal surgery – and only under the supervision of a named consultant, who must report back to the GMC.

He must also confine his medical practice to NHS posts as a consultant in colorectal surgery where his work will be supervised by a named consultant and he must seek a report from his supervisor for consideration by the GMC panel, prior to any review hearing.

The Helpline number 01527 503812 open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays.

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