Health Secretary Michael Matheson has announced a Public Inquiry will take place into the conduct of former neurosurgeon Sam Eljamel.

Mr Matheson said that in light of the last week’s Due Diligence Review, published by NHS Tayside, he has now concluded a Public Inquiry is needed to get the answers to the questions patients have about the surgeon, who worked in Tayside between 1995 and 2013.

Individual former patients who have ongoing concerns will also be able to request an independent clinical review of their care and treatment by Mr Eljamel.

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Mr Matheson said:

“Many former patients still live with the consequences of being treated by Mr Eljamel and still have many unanswered questions.

“The report presented last week to the board of NHS Tayside outlines a number of failings that I believe can only be examined thoroughly by a public inquiry. It also brings forward significant information not previously known to the Scottish Government. Given the length of time since the first concerns were raised about Mr Eljamel, this raises real concerns.

“It is now clear that the Board’s governance obligations were not consistently met in respect of how reviews of concerns about Mr Eljamel were actioned.

“I consider that this now means that commissioning a full public inquiry under the terms of the Inquiries Act 2005, with the powers to compel witnesses, is the only route to determine what happened, what contributed to the failures described by NHS Tayside and what can be done to prevent this happening again.

“A full public inquiry will not necessarily answer the individual clinical questions of each former patient about their own particular circumstances. For that reason I do still consider that an individual clinical review of patients’ individual cases, where that is what individual patients want, remains necessary.

“This will allow a person-centred, trauma-informed review of each patient’s own clinical case, addressing their individual needs and circumstances and attempting to offer answers in a bespoke and personalised way that an inquiry may not.”

Further details of the Public Inquiry and the process for arranging individual clinical care reviews will be announced in due course.

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