Forfar woman backs call for public inquiry

20150320- Gillian Davidson. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES ''No use without payment.
20150320- Gillian Davidson. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES ''No use without payment.

A Forfar woman has backed a call for a public inquiry into the practices of disgraced surgeon Professor Muftah Salem Eljamel, who was suspended from his post as a consultant neurological surgeon in Ninewells Hospital.

Mrs Gillian Davidson is among dozens of patients who have come forward listing a catalogue of errors and botched operations performed by the surgeon.

This man deserves to answer for what he has done and to apologise to the ones whose lives have been completely changed.

Gillian Davidson

A petition calling for a public inquiry has been set up and Alex Johnstone MSP, has written to Health Secretary Shona Robison calling for a full investigation.

The campaign was spearheaded by former Dundee lecturer Patrick Kelly who has secured a meeting with Jenny Marra MSP, next Tuesday.

He has been contacted by a string of former patients of Mr Eljamel, many with harrowing tales of long term health difficulties post surgery.

Mr Eljamel worked at NHS Tayside from 1995 but was suspended from his post last year after a patient underwent surgery on the wrong spinal disc.

He stepped down from his teaching and research posts at Dundee University following the interim order by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, before eventually leaving NHS Tayside.

Mrs Davidson (55), who has undergone 27 operations, said: “I slipped a disc when I was 16 which led to various interventions and me developing a condition called arachnoiditis. I have had chronic pain for a lot of years.”

Her problem with Mr Eljamel occurred when she had a dorsal column stimulator, which featured a battery pack, implanted. On one occasion Mr Eljamel fitted the pack upside down, the wrong way round.

She explained: “No-body listened. My scar was very red and angry but it took me two to three weeks before Mr Eljamel would consider seeing me. It was agony. My mum put in a letter of complaint and the head of services dealt with it; the head of services was Mr Eljamel so he dealt with his own complaint.”

Gillian takes daily medication for her condition, receives regular treatment in Ninewells and has been advised to take gentle exercise to ease the pain.

She added: “This man deserves to answer for what he has done and to apologise to the ones whose lives have been completely changed.”

An NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “Professor Eljamel no longer works for NHS Tayside. Whilst we cannot comment on individual cases relating to patients, NHS Tayside takes any concern raised seriously and will undertake appropriate investigation or review.”