Interview with patient Fay Pelloie, and MSP Liz Smith ahead of the cross-party meeting with Humza Yousef.

BBC Radio Scotland’s “Good Morning Scotland”. Interviewer: Andrew Black. From 9th February 2023 – at 0753.

Semi-automated transcript (beware mistakes, check the audio):

00:00:10 [BBC] Andrew Black
The time is now 53 minutes past seven. Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf is due to meet a cross party group of MP’s who want a public inquiry into the case of a disgraced surgeon who ruined the lives of a number of patients. They were left in chronic pain due to botched operations carried out by Sam Eljamel, who was suspended by NHS Tayside 10 years ago when evidence of what he had done emerged and will let’s speak now to Fay Pelloie, who was one of his patients. Good morning. Fay, thank you very much for joining us this morning.

00:00:43 [BBC] Andrew Black
I just want I just wanted to take you back to to to the beginning of all this and what what was the reason, why why you were told that that you needed to have surgery in the first place.

00:00:54 Fay Pelloie
I have to have an anterior cervical disc operation because of pain going down the right hand side on my arm.

00:01:06 [BBC] Andrew Black
And uhm, you were you were operated on, then seven times by Sam Eljamel, weren’t you? How how? How did that end up impacting your life?

00:01:16 Fay Pelloie
And he operated 7 times between 2003 and 2011. I was never free from pain after his surgeries. I’ve been left with Cauda Equina and drop foot. I’ve suffered permanent nerve damage affecting organs muscle tissue. Both in lower spine and cervical. I suffer from panic attacks and have PTSD because of problems and complications with surgery through the throat to the spine and…

00:01:56 [BBC] Andrew Black
Sorry, carry on.

00:01:58 Fay Pelloie
…I’ve lost my independence…

00:02:02 [BBC] Andrew Black
And I was gonna ask just about that that period of time where you had seven operations so that you know that that was over a period of of several years.

00:02:12 [BBC] Andrew Black
And what I mean, what were you going through in that period of time because there was obviously a point where where you started to feel that that things were not right.

00:02:23 Fay Pelloie
And things came to a head in 2011 and that was the worst I had had surgery in Fernbrae as a private patient and the surgery at that time should have been in surgery for two days. I ended up being there for two weeks.

00:02:50 Fay Pelloie
I begged Mr Eljamel. Everything in so much pain after that surgery I begged him to open me up again because I couldn’t move. I just couldn’t move. He refused and said it was post operative, but having had already 6 surgeries by himself.

00:03:10 Fay Pelloie
I knew it wasn’t post operative and but he decided to leave me to go to a conference and he said that if I was still in pain when he came back he would look into it.

00:03:23 [BBC] Andrew Black
So knowing you, I mean, you you you. You’ve told us how tough life is for you now. Fay, I’m knowing what you know now about Sam Eljamel, what what would you like to see happen next?

00:03:38 Fay Pelloie
I just, erm, like everybody else… I thought I was the unlucky one because when you have brain or spinal surgery there are always risks. You know what may happen and when it does, you just assume that you have been the unlucky one.

00:03:59 Fay Pelloie
We all thought the same way and it wasn’t until it was made public that we all realised there was a common thread running through all of this, I wrote to the GMC in 2014 with my complaints, but they were dismissed.

00:04:17 Fay Pelloie
And it wasn’t until I saw another surgeon who told me I was being paralysed from the neck down that we looked into everything in greater detail.

00:04:28 [BBC] Andrew Black
OK, well thank you very much Fay for for telling us your story this morning. Can also speak to Liz Smith, the Scottish Conservative MSP who’s meeting at Humza Yusuf later this morning. So do you? Do you think a public inquiries is is the best way forward then?

00:04:46 Liz Smith, MSP
Yes, very much so because we have tried every other which way to get justice for these former patients of Eljamel. Fay’s story is very harrowing, just like many other patients.

00:04:58 Liz Smith, MSP
In fact, we now know of 67 patients who have had you know, malpractice at the hands of Eljamel and we’ve tried every avenue to try to get justice. So far that’s not happened, but I am adamant that there should be a public inquiry into this.

00:05:16 Liz Smith, MSP
And along with colleagues Willie Rennie, Michael Marra, Graham Day, Shona Robison. We’re meeting Humza Yousef later on this morning to really press the case for this, because if it doesn’t happen, these patients are going to continue having the terrible strain and harrowing results of Eljamel and just no closure on what has been an absolutely disgraceful situation.

00:05:42 [BBC] Andrew Black
OK, well many thanks for joining us. That’s the Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith there. The Scottish Government have given us a statement.

00:05:52 [BBC] Andrew Black
They say we recognise the importance of accountability and expect NHS Tayside to continue to give a clear account of their ongoing actions. The health secretary says the government is keen to continue to engage wherever he can.

00:06:05 [BBC] Andrew Black
And is looking forward to meeting MSP so that meeting between the MSP’s and the Health Secretary over the Eljamel case that is expected to take place later today.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This