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Apology from NHS trust over the mistreatment of 1,200 cancer patients

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has written to over one thousand former patients after a clinical review found that they may have been harmed by treatment.

What happened?

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has sent letters of apology to 1,200 bladder and prostate cancer patients, after the review discovered that 27 people had been harmed between 2006 and 2013, by treatment from a consultant urologist.

The consultant urologist, Paul Miller, was suspended from work in December 2013. The General Medical Council (GMC) has since confirmed that an investigation is pending, and that he is currently unable to treat urological cancer patients pending an investigation.

A statement made by the trust said that the 27 patients;

“came to harm because of the treatment they received
under the former trust urologist’s care.”

This included five who have since died.

Additionally the trust said that a “small number of patients” had also been given treatment that was below hospital standards, however they had not been harmed as a consequence.

An apology

Medical director, Des Holden, 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.

“There have been five deaths in the 27 patients. It wouldn’t be correct
to say they died as a consequence of the progression of their
disease. This is a cancer that predominantly
affects very elderly people.

“It’s a factor, but it wouldn’t be correct to say they died
as a consequence of the mismanagement.”

The trust has set up a hotline so patients and their families can get in touch with a consultant or specialist nurse to discuss any concerns of aspects of their care.

If you have been affected by medical negligence, and you would like expert advice, contact the Hampson Hughes Solicitors Medical Negligence Team today on 0151 242 1025 or email

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