Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

NHS Tayside accused of cover-up over disgraced Dundee surgeon Eljamel

The Scottish Government confirmed it is 'considering' a full independent inquiry.

Disgraced ex-Dundee surgeon Professor Eljamel. Image: DC Thomson.

Whistleblowers claim NHS Tayside managers knew about concerns over disgraced Dundee doctor Professor Sam Eljamel years before he was suspended.

The Scottish Government has confirmed it is “considering” an independent inquiry into the rogue surgeon as the health board was accused of a cover-up.

Prof Eljamel botched dozens of operations and left patients with lifelong injuries between 1995 and 2013 while working in Dundee as a neurosurgeon.

NHS Tayside says it first became aware of allegations the rogue doctor was harming patients in June 2013 when he was put under supervision.

However, three surgeons who worked alongside him have now claimed to the BBC:

  • NHS Tayside was told about concerns as early as 2009
  • Doctors who raised the alarm were shut down
  • Prof Eljamel regularly left the operating table to do private work

The whistleblowers allege the surgeon regularly allowed junior doctors to carry out surgeries unsupervised when he should have been operating himself.

They claim the disgraced neurosurgeon was a bully who was regarded as “untouchable” since he brought money into his department through “questionable” research projects.

‘I was shut down’

One doctor told the BBC: “I did raise concerns at the time but I was shut down. We were told we would never get our traineeship.

“It went all the way up to the board. They all knew about it.”

An NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “NHS Tayside were not previously aware of these concerns by former trainees relating to their experiences of Professor Eljamel, who was suspended by NHS Tayside in December 2013.

“We understandably take these concerns very seriously and we would encourage anyone who has concerns about Professor Eljamel to contact the Patient Liaison Response Team.”

Campaigners who were harmed as a result of Prof Eljamel’s negligence say the bombshell claims now put the case for a full public inquiry beyond doubt.

SNP health chief Michael Matheson has offered patients a one-on-one independent review, but victims warn this does not go far enough.

Jules Rose has been leading calls for a public inquiry.

Campaigner Jules Rose, from Kinross, has been fighting for justice since Prof Eljamel removed her tear gland instead of a tumour.

Given the latest revelations, she now has doubts over whether the former NHS Tayside surgeon even carried out her operation.

She told us: “This isn’t just about Eljamel’s actions.

“This is about the board and nurses, doctors and senior management knowing what was going on since at least 2009.

“The board has failed in their duty to protect patients. A one-to-one independent review is insignificant at this level of harm.

“This is the tip of the iceberg.”

She added: “I’ve always been swaying back and forth if it was the registrar that performed my botched operation.

“Now upon hearing what this surgeon has said, it increases my inquisitiveness to seek the answer.”

Campaigner Pat Kelly was a victim of Professor Eljamel. Image: Pat Kelly.

Campaigner Pat Kelly has long doubted Prof Eljamel even showed up for his surgery – and he’s now more determined than ever to discover the truth.

He said: “Given what this whistleblower [referred to by the BBC as ‘Mark’] and the seriousness of what he says, I now believe the game is up for NHS Tayside and the Scottish Government.

“Enough is enough and I hope all MSPs do the decent thing and demand a Public Inquiry.”

He added: “I have always doubted that Eljamel showed up for my operation.

“I am now going back to Police Scotland to ask if they will now question those present in the theatre that day.”

Victims of Professor Sam Eljamel protested outside Holyrood.
Victims of Professor Sam Eljamel protested outside Holyrood. Image: DC Thomson.

Just two days ago, campaigners wore hospital gowns splattered with blood outside Holyrood as they pressed home their demands for an inquiry

At the time, they said a total of 99 victims have come forward claiming they suffered as a result of Prof Eljamel’s actions.

In the 48 hours since then, an additional four patients have come forward, taking the total up to 103.

The Scottish Government had previously insisted any questions patients had were for NHS Tayside to answer.

But in a statement, a spokesperson told us a possible independent review into Prof Eljamel – who we revealed last year lied about his credentials on his own website – was now being “considered”.

They said: “We are considering what the best next steps would be, including a potential independent review, to ensure patients and their families can have confidence that they have the answers they need.”

Mid Scotland and Fife Tory MSP Liz Smith said: “These revelations are so serious they confirm my previous view that a full, independent enquiry is the best option.”

Dundee-based Labour MSP Michael Marra added: “Surely now the case for a public inquiry is made beyond doubt.”