NHS allowed surgeon to operate amid investigations against his practice

Fresh reports relating to the inquiry into deaths of patients operated by Dr Sudip Sarker, a consultant general surgeon practicing at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. He has now been excluded and restricted to practice by the General Medical Council.

Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) was asked to examine the concerns over the double the average mortality rate in Dr. Sarker’s patients. The adjourned inquest involved deaths of three of his patients William Jones, Jean Thomas  and Daphne Taylor, all above the age of 80 died in 2012 after surgery performed by Dr. Sarker.

Alexandra Hospital in Redditch

Alexandra Hospital in Redditch

Dr. Sarker who is facing police probe in the concerns raised by his patient’s kin and other relatives was allowed to operate on other patients amid the ongoing investigations being carried out by an independent body. The hospital did not find it significant enough to inform the patients about the ongoing investigations against the surgeon and allowed to continue his practice. Countering the argument the trust explains that the surgeon was allowed to practice under supervision for his surgeries.

Alexandra Hospital in Redditch has engaged Dr. Sarker since August 2011 who specialized in Colon cancer key hole surgery. Prior to which he worked with Whittington NHS trust and Royal Free London NHS Foundation trust in London. After working from August 2011 to July 2012, Dr Sarker was referred to Royal College of Surgeons over concerns on his practice. He was suspended in October 2012 and he performed several surgeries before that even while he was being investigated.

The concerns over Sarker’s way of practicing were well reported to RCS despite which the hospital failed to stop him involving in any surgeries further. The incident not only questions lack of judgment from the surgeon but also doubts the hospital’s intentions towards patient’s health care needs.

A dedicated helpline was set up for the patients who were involved with Dr. Sarker for their treatment during the period he served at the hospital. The helpline has received number of calls since then inquiring about the doctor’s investigations and registering their concerns over his treatment. Patients are demanding an explanation from the hospitals as to the reasons the surgeon was allowed to operate amid number of concerns raised and investigations held against him.