Police investigate deaths of 40 people at Brighton hospital as two whistleblowing surgeons say they lost their jobs after raising patient safety concerns
- Police are probing the deaths of 40 people at Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton
- Two eminent surgeons were sacked after blowing the whistle about negligence
Police are investigating the deaths of around 40 people at a hospital after two renowned surgeons were sacked after they raised serious concerns about medical negligence.
Detectives are looking into claims of malpractice at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton over a five-year period.
The alleged failings occurred in neurosurgery and general surgery.
Claims of medical negligence were made by two consultant surgeons who lost their jobs after blowing the whistle about patient safety, The Guardian reported.
Both whistleblowers claimed the trust failed to properly investigate the deaths, which took place between 2015 and 2020, and learn from mistakes made, the newspaper added.
Krishna Singh, former clinical director of surgery at Royal Sussex County Hospital, claimed surgeons were promoted before they were sufficiently competent and that locums lacking the necessary skills were ‘overused’
The second whistleblower is believed to be consultant neurosurgeon Mansoor Foroughi, who was dismissed by the trust in December 2021 after citing concerns over 19 deaths and 23 cases of serious patient harm
The first of the whistleblowers is Krishna Singh, former clinical director for surgery at the hospital, who claimed he lost his post after raising the alarm about several of the deaths now under investigation.
Mr Singh alleged cost-cutting exercises ‘were driven through that were grossly unsafe and ultimately drove up complication rates and patient mortality’.
He further alleged that surgeons had been promoted before they were sufficiently competent and that locums lacking the necessary skills were ‘overused’.
His employment tribunal against the trust was adjourned this week due to the police investigation.
The second whistleblower is believed to be consultant neurosurgeon Mansoor Foroughi, who was dismissed by the trust in December 2021 after citing concerns over 19 deaths and 23 cases of serious patient harm over the previous six years.
Officers from Sussex Police last week wrote to the trust’s chief executive George Findlay, confirming they had launched a formal investigation into ‘a number of deaths’, according to the newspaper.
Police were investigating allegations of ‘criminal culpability through medical negligence’ made by ‘two separate clinical consultants’ at the trust, a letter reportedly said.
Pictured: The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, where 40 deaths which occurred between 2015 and 2020 are being investigated by Sussex Police
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission downgraded the trust last month and it was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating for patient safety.
A trust spokesperson said: ‘The trust has been contacted by Sussex Police as part of their inquiries relating to the care of a number of general surgery and neurosurgery patients at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton between 2015 and 2020.
‘It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage other than to confirm that we are co-operating fully to ensure the concerns raised are investigated.’
A Sussex Police spokesperson said: ‘Sussex Police has received allegations of medical negligence at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, and is currently assessing these allegations.
‘The concerns raised relate to neurosurgery and general surgery in a period between 2015-2020.
‘Inquiries are at an early stage and this does not necessarily mean this will lead to criminal prosecution.
‘We are working closely with partner agencies and the hospital trust is co-operating fully with our review.’
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