20th Feb, 2020

Hundreds of patients recalled to a Solihull private hospital in second surgery scandal

John Carlon 28th Jan, 2020

THE PRIVATE hospital embroiled in the Ian Paterson breast surgery scandal has written to hundreds of patients over concerns unnecessary operations have been carried out by a second senior doctor.

Spire Healthcare, which runs Spire Parkway in Solihull, said 217 patients who were treated by Habib Rahman, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, have been offered consultations to review their care.

Dr Rahman had his practice at the hospital withdrawn last year, during which time he was investigated by the Royal College of Surgeons.

He is still working for the NHS under “interim conditions”, a spokeswoman for the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust confirmed, but no patients have been recalled.

Spire Healthcare said in a statement: “Following the Royal College’s guidance, we wrote to all shoulder patients who were identified as requiring follow up to offer them a consultation with an independent surgeon to review their care and to understand more about their post-operative recovery. That process is still on-going.

“We would encourage patients who have received a letter to follow up on our offer of a free review by an independent specialist to ensure their care has been as expected.”

A statement from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said: “We can confirm that Mr Habib Rahman is employed by University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has, since July 2019, been working with interim restrictions as per the conditions on his GMC registration.

“The Trust has not recalled any of his NHS patients.”

An ex-patient, who asked not to be named, claimed she was told last year that she had undergone two unnecessary surgeries in the space of two months.

The 52-year-old woman had been referred to Mr Rahman by her GP after suffering from pains in her shoulder and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Her solicitors claim Rahman first performed a shoulder manipulation on the woman in June 2017, followed by another one under general anaesthetic in August. She was referred to a separate surgeon when these operations were unsuccessful.

She received a letter from Spire in December last year inviting her to a meeting, where she was told the procedures were unnecessary, according to the lawyers.

“Not only was I told my surgeries were unnecessary, but that the type of surgery I’d received from Mr Rahman wasn’t his specialist field.

“I trusted him. He was dressed smartly and was very charming. I had no reason to doubt anything he said.”

Linda Millband, clinical negligence lead at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “A second patient recall and another rogue surgeon operating unnecessarily at Mr Paterson’s old private hospital suggests systemic failings.

“This could be the tip of the iceberg, so we encourage others who feel they have received similar unnecessary care from Mr Habib Rahman or indeed any other surgeon at a Spire hospital to come forward.

“We are committed through our Patients Before Profit Campaign to expose poor patient treatment at private hospitals and are determined that Spire do not get away with brushing yet another recall under what must be a pretty big carpet by now.”

The hospital in the West Midlands has previously been embroiled in controversy after another surgeon who had practised there, Ian Paterson, was jailed for 20 years in 2017 for wounding patients by performing unnecessary procedures.

The findings of an independent inquiry into Mr Paterson, who practised at Spire hospitals across the West Midlands, are due to be published on February 4.

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