Sam Eljamel: Patient reports NHS Tayside to police over surgeon

Jules Rose
Jules Rose has reported NHS Tayside to the police

A patient has reported NHS Tayside to the police for allowing a brain surgeon to operate on her after he should have been suspended.

Disgraced neurosurgeon Sam Eljamel removed Jules Rose's tear duct instead of her brain tumour.

Outside a Dundee police station, she said she wanted officers to investigate the health board because it had knowingly placed her in great danger.

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said it would not be appropriate to comment.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Enquiries are ongoing and we continue to work alongside partner agencies."

Eljamel is known to have harmed dozens of patients at NHS Tayside, leaving some with life-changing injuries, after he began working for the health board in 1995.

He was head of neurosurgery at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee until he was suspended in December 2013.

Earlier this year a due diligence review criticised the health board for putting him under indirect supervision in June 2013 rather than suspending him, meaning he continued to operate for a further six months.

Ms Rose, 55, believes she was the only patient to be operated on by Eljamel twice during this six-month period.

Sam Eljamel
Sam Eljamel was the head of the neurosurgery department in Ninewells Hospital in Dundee

Her first operation, where she had a tear gland removed instead of a brain tumour, was in August 2013.

Eljamel performed a second operation on her on 9 December that year, the day before he was suspended by the health board.

Ms Rose told BBC Scotland that the health board had allowed Eljamel to perform two craniotomies on her.

"[He] removed a healthy part of my body, a lacrimal gland, instead of my brain tumour.

"I assert that he did so unqualified and unsupervised."

She added that he should have been suspended in June, before either of her operations had taken place.

"NHS Tayside knowingly allowed this surgeon to perform the second surgery prior to suspension the next day, thus placing me in great danger," she said.

On Wednesday she took a 20-page statement she had written to the police station, along with a folder of evidence.

She said she had evidence to prove the health board's conduct reached the level of criminality.

Public inquiry

In September, the Scottish government confirmed a public inquiry would be held after the due diligence review into NHS Tayside reported "extremely disturbing" findings.

It found that concerns about Eljamel were not acted upon with the urgency they deserved.

It also found significant information that had not previously been known by the Scottish government, despite eight reviews being carried out in the last five years.

This raised "serious concerns" for Holyrood ministers over the openness and the transparency there had been from NHS Tayside.

The announcement of the inquiry came after a campaign led by Ms Rose and more than 150 of the surgeon's patients.

Liz Smith, a Scottish Conservative MSP, said it was important that allegations went through the right channels "and therefore a police investigation [was] warranted".

Ms Smith added: "The evidence that has stacked up over the all the years that we've been investigating this, it is substantial."

It is understood that Eljamel now works as a surgeon in Libya.