The Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is offering cancer patients compensation for a lack of care following an investigation into the standard of care provided by a consultant urologist.
Twenty-seven patients of the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill are believed to have suffered avoidable side effects related to their care, or have experienced an avoidable progression of their disease, due to a lack of care by consultant urologist Paul Miller, who worked at the hospital between 2006 and 2013.
According to the results of an internal investigation, the patients – who are all suffering from bladder cancer or prostate cancer – were not given the full range of options available to them or informed of the consequences, and subsequently they were provided with treatments that may not have been in their best interests and due to which there is a higher likelihood of the cancer returning.
The investigation into the lack of care provided by Paul Miller was launched after concerns were raised by colleagues and specialist nurses at the East Surrey hospital last November. Dr Miller was suspended the following month while an investigation into the standard of care provided to patients took place, and he was subsequently dismissed from his post earlier this year.
More than one thousand letters have been sent to patients under the care of Mr Miller, with the NHS Trust offering the twenty-seven affected cancer patients compensation for a lack of care. The NHS Trust has also established a helpline for concerned patients – 0808 168 7754 – which is manned between 11:00am and 7:00pm from Monday to Friday.
Speaking about the offer to cancer patients of compensation for a lack of care, Michael Wilson – Chief Executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – said that Mr Miller had not “followed the advice of multi-disciplinary teams in carrying out established and recognised cancer treatments”. He added that the letters sent to each of the patients were “to enable compensation to be considered and paid”.
In addition to working at the East Surrey Hospital, Mr Millar was also employed at the Spire Gatwick Park Hospital in Horley. The hospital´s director – John Crisp – said that Mr Miller had not undertaken any surgery or held clinics at the hospital since his suspension in December. Mr Miller is also subject to a formal investigation by the General Medical Council.