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Cancer Patients of Urologist Paul Miller Bring Legal Action

By Senior Associate Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

The East Surrey Hospital trust in Redhill ignored warnings over the dangerous treatment by consultant neurologist on cancer patients, according to an internal report seen by The Mail on Sunday.

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The East Surrey Hospital trust in Redhill ignored warnings over the dangerous treatment by consultant neurologist on cancer patients, according to an internal report seen by The Mail on Sunday.

The report, commissioned by the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, suggested the trust ‘weighted in favour of protecting a clinician’s reputation, rather than protecting patient safety’.

I am currently instructed by a number of former patients of Mr Miller, who carried out a treatment called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) on his patients in place of traditional surgery. The method, which burns away cancerous cells is meant to be less invasive than surgery. Patients of Mr Miller, however, were not made aware of alternatives or the risks of the treatment.

Medical professionals have a legal duty to make patients aware of the risks involved in any medical procedures, along with any alternatives. This means that people would then make informed decisions before undergoing any kind of surgery.

It seems inconceivable that any hospital trust, when informed of such serious concerns about patient safety, would fail to act for so long.

Furthermore, duty of candour is the legal obligation of a hospital, clinic or healthcare provider that means they must inform a patient if mistakes have been made which have caused significant harm.

One of the risks of HIFU is impotence, which a number of his patients suffered as a result of his negligible treatment.

Paul Miller was suspended in December, 2013 and a review of his patients was carried out, by which time at least 27 men had suffered ‘serious significant harm’ from as early as 2007, according to a subsequent review by the Royal College of Surgeons.

It seems inconceivable that any hospital trust, when informed of such serious concerns about patient safety, would fail to act for so long. As a result, opportunities to act on any of these concerns in the interest of patient safety were clearly missed.

 

 

Mr Miller was dismissed in October, 2014, and a month later his licence to practise medicine was suspended by the General Medical Council.

A report by the Good Governance Institute, a management consultancy brought in to work with East Surrey Hospital, has suggested that many patients may have been spared serious injury if whistleblowers’ flagged concerns had been listened to.

 

Janet Johnson is a senior associate solicitor specialising in clinical negligence claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

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Medical Negligence Claims, Clinical / Medical Negligence

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