Victims of ex-NHS butcher surgeon demand answers over delayed Government probe

Patients butchered by rogue brain surgeon Sam Eljamel have revealed that one to one clinical reviews into every case promised by the Scottish government have have yet to begin.

Health secretary Neil Gray promised a detailed investigation into the 200 affected patients beginning in April.

Former first minister Humza Yousaf had announced there would be a public inquiry into the scandal and confirmed all those involved would have one-to-one clinical reviews of their cases.

Lead campaigner Jules Rose and fellow victims of the disgraced surgeon Sam Eljamel gathered outside Holyrood
Lead campaigner Jules Rose and fellow victims of the disgraced surgeon Sam Eljamel gathered outside Holyrood -Credit:Daily Record

But Jules Rose, 55, who had a tear duct removed by Eljamel instead of a tumour, said: “As the representative for patients we feel once again extremely let down, left in limbo and as if we’re not being taken seriously enough.

“We’re very much in the dark and we’re fed up waiting. We’ve been trying to get the government to listen to us since 2018, there’s been no transparency and no communication about why the reviews haven’t started yet.

“Neil Gray said the reviews would commence in the middle of April - it is now the end of May. We’re anxious, and it’s causing compounded trauma.

“We’re also wondering how they are going to be executing these independent reviews for nearly 200 patients, and when we ask there is no explanation forthcoming.”

In February Gray told Holyrood: “I know that the clinical reviews are due to begin in April and I hope that will provide some comfort to patients, who have waited too long for these processes to begin, that there is a momentum building and that the processes are beginning in order for them to get the answers to questions that they seek”.

Victims of the rogue surgeon are now calling for an explanation from the government about when the reviews will start and said they’re being ignored once more.

The patients are thought to have been harmed by the surgeon, who worked for NHS Tayside between 1995 and 2014.

For the last six years Jules and other victims have been campaigning for the government to investigate their care and treatment at the hands of Eljamel and NHS Tayside.

Jules, 55, has been leading the campaign on behalf of dozens of others harmed by the medic.

She contacted Professor Stephen Wigmore - who was appointed by the government to lead the reviews - to ask when they would begin but was told two weeks ago that they were still in the process of arranging the “infrastructure”.

Jules told the professor: “I’m sure you can appreciate, patients are no further encouraged by this announcement date, which has since passed and is causing unrest and they feel very much in the dark with the process and commencement.”

Campaigners are also planning to stage a protest outside Police Scotland headquarters this week in Dundee to demand action over Eljamel, who has yet to face charges.

The surgeon fled to Libya, where he is working in a number of private hospitals and continuing to operate on patients.

The Scottish government did not address patients’ criticisms but said they would be contacted soon.

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