15th March 2023: 1330 – Protest outside the former Dundee Royal Infirmary, Dundee.

The Patient’s Action Group seeking a Public Inquiry into the actions of NHS Tayside and their surgeon, Sam Eljamel, is staging a protest in front of the former Dundee Royal Infirmary (DRI) building.

Sam Eljamel practiced at DRI from 1995 until its closure in 1998 when he transferred to Dundee Ninewells. Some of the patients we represent were treated by Eljamel at DRI – currently over 65 patients who have come forward with complaints about their handling by the surgeon. He was eventually removed from NHS Tayside in 2013 but, by then, the damage had been done. The surgeon also has serious questions over his medical credentials.

Questions also remain about the actions of his colleagues and their employer NHS Tayside – how was he allowed to continue butchering patients, leaving them with life changing injuries, and never stopped?! Was there no governance or oversight to protect them? NHS Tayside practices were identified in an independent report as having management failures and lack of clinical governance.

It doesn’t stop there. Who oversaw NHS Tayside’s eventual handling of investigations into his practices and why have they not come forward? Over time those Organisations included Scottish Health Advisory Service (SHAS), Clinical Standards Board for Scotland, NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (NHS QIS), Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI), Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), Health & Safety Executive, General Medical Council (GMC), and The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS).

And beyond – ultimately many of these organisations should have been held ultimately responsible by the Scottish Office, The Scottish Executive and now the Scottish Government. Indeed, recent Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, and his predecessor Nicola Sturgeon, have failed to make any meaningful attempt to get to the bottom of the problems.

If NHS Tayside, these organisations, and the Scottish Government cannot be trusted with the care of patients then, how can they be trusted to provide proper care to the public now. No attempt has been made to investigate the problems in a public forum to start rebuilding trust in the healthcare system in the community.

Therefore, we feel that the only route left…
• to achieve transparent, unbiased, and honest answers.
• to have essential learning and enact real change.
• to hold to account those responsible.
• to help and support those patients living with what happened.
• to rebuild public trust in NHS Tayside to care for them, even now.
…is by having a thorough and independent Public Inquiry.

We must get to the truth as soon as possible,
to safeguard all patients who rely on healthcare in Scotland.

We are demanding a Public Inquiry NOW!! We will not give up.

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