Leading medical law experts call for ‘comprehensive review’ of surgeon’s actions as 200 patients recalled

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Medical Negligence Solicitors are urging patients who were treated for shoulder related injuries at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, West Midlands, to seek independent legal advice after more than 200 people were called back for a consultation.

The call to action comes amidst concerns surgeon Habib Rahman may have performed ‘unnecessary’ operations on private patients under the care of Spire Healthcare.

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According to the latest reports, the letter issued to around 220 people called on those affected to undergo a review of their care and post-operative recovery with an independent specialist.

Whilst it is understood that Spire - one of the UK's largest private healthcare businesses - withdrew Mr Rahman's operating licence in May following a review by the Royal College of Surgeons, the NHS Trust which employs him said he is continuing to work, albeit under ‘interim restrictions’ which means he must be supervised in all of his posts by a clinical supervisor.

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust further confirmed that to date it had not recalled any of his NHS patients.

A spokesperson at law firm Simpson Millar, which has a team that specialises in supporting victims of ‘excessive or unnecessary’ medical intervention within its Clinical and Medical Negligence division, said ‘urgent action’ must now be taken to understand the true extent of any negligence identified - either through private or publicly funded healthcare provision.

The firm’s head of Medical Negligence and Personal Injury Ian Cohen said, “This is no doubt an extremely concerning and unsettling time for those individuals who have received a letter, and they will understandably want answers.

“Private healthcare providers have a duty to do what is best for their patients in exactly the same way as the NHS, and so any indication that action has been taken in the name of profit must be dealt with in the most serious way possible.

“Any investigation into this matter must consider numerous issues - not least why the surgeon continues to operate within the NHS even though there are significant concerns as to the quality of his patient care in the private sector.

“This is yet another example of the lack of effective governance between the NHS and the private healthcare sector and unless this gap is urgently addressed, we will tragically continue to see scandals like this."

  • "Any patients affected are urged to go for a review and to seek independent legal advice as to whether any potential negligence could lead to a civil claim for loss of earnings, or unnecessary pain or suffering."

    Ian Cohen

    Medical Negligence Solicitor

The Spire Parkway was also named amidst another similar scandal in recent years, when breast surgeon Ian Paterson was jailed for 20 years in 2017 after it was found that he had exaggerated or invented cancer risks which resulted in more expensive treatments and procedures being carried out.

Ian Cohen of Simpson Millar said, “It’s very concerning that so soon after the scandal of Ian Paterson, the same private hospital has another surgeon who appears to have been carrying out unnecessary surgeries, potentially causing significant and unnecessary harm to hundreds of patients.

“It is also very likely that the vast majority of the costs of any scandal unveiled here will fall to be paid by the NHS, exactly the same as in the Ian Paterson case.

“This is due to the contractual position when an NHS patient is referred to the private sector for NHS treatment.

“This story comes in the week of criticism of the cost of medical negligence claims, but as everyone knows prevention is better than the cure and until the underlying causes of negligent care are addressed these costs will simply not come down.”

In a statement issued by Spire relating to Habib Rahman patients who have received a letter were encouraged to ‘follow up on the offer of a free review by an independent specialist’ to ensure their care has ‘been as expected’.

Ian Cohen from Simpson Millar added, “It’s imperative that Spire do all they can now to ensure that affected patients are seen as quickly as possible so that they can better understand the circumstances surrounding their own treatment and after care, and whether more could have been done to treat their injuries without painful, intrusive surgery.

“That said, Spire must also provide assurances and irrefutable evidence that the consultants carrying out the reviews are indeed independent!

  • "Similarly, we would urge University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust to carry out a comprehensive review of his activity whilst working on behalf of the NHS to provide some much-needed reassurance to Mr Habib Rahman’s patients."

    Ian Cohen

    Medical Negligence Solicitor

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