The government-funded National Health Service (NHS) in the UK has removed one of its top cancer surgeons from its service, even as the police investigate the high death rates of his patients.
Dr.Sudip Sarker was also dismissed as a consultant colorectal surgeon by the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. The 46-year-old surgeon on Indian origin had been suspended from practicing medicine in the UK by the General Medical Council (GMC) since June last year.
NHS Trust acting chief executive Chris Tidman said: "I do hope that the dismissal provides assurance that the trust will take whatever action is necessary so as to protect patient safety."
The announcement of his dismissal this week comes as West Mercia Police continues a criminal investigation into the deaths of a number of patients treated by the consultant. The separate criminal inquiry, launched in February 2014, is examining the deaths of at least three patients.
Hannah Wallace, from legal firm Irwin Mitchell, is representing a group of patients alleging medical negligence while being treated under Sarker and welcomed his dismissal. She said: "Our clients are relieved at the latest developments and we hope that it will begin to restore confidence that lessons are being learned from what happened. We are also assisting the police and the GMC with their investigations and hope that these will be concluded as quickly as possible. Improving patient safety has to be the ultimate priority throughout all of this activity."