Gang culture at neurosurgery department, doctor alleges

Gang culture at neurosurgery department, doctor alleges

Gang culture at neurosurgery department, doctor alleges


“A “gang culture” existed at an NHS neurosurgery department, a doctor has claimed at his employment tribunal.

Neurosurgeon Mansoor Foroughi is one of two surgeons who alleges patients were put at risk at University Hospitals Sussex, where police are investigating 105 cases of alleged medical negligence.

He was sacked for gross misconduct in 2022 and is challenging his dismissal.

The trust said it would “vigorously contest” his claims.

Four whistleblowers at the trust previously told BBC Newsnight that patients had died unnecessarily while others were “effectively maimed”.

They also complained of a “Mafia-like” management culture.

Mansoor Foroughi alleges one colleague was approved to perform complex spinal surgery without adequate training.

He claims a second surgeon undertook procedures that led to a “disproportionate” level of deaths.

Mr Foroughi says a third surgeon undertook private work whilst on call to the NHS, which if true would be a breach of the NHS Code of Conduct.

Universities Hospitals Sussex dismissed Mr Foroughi following a disciplinary hearing which upheld three allegations against him.

He alleges the trust punished him because he raised these safety concerns.

The trust opposed Mr Foroughi’s claims at the employment tribunal, denying “that the health or safety of any patients had been or was likely to be endangered”.

It also said it used an “experienced external investigator” as part of the disciplinary process.

Sussex Police is separately investigating at least 105 cases of alleged medical negligence at the trust’s neurosurgery and general surgery departments.

Court documents revealed there was “serious dysfunctionality in the neurosurgery department” with “stark divisions between colleagues”.

The revelations come after the trust lost a nine-month court battle with the BBC and The Times to block access to and redact documents in two employment tribunal cases.

In the second tribunal, it is claimed bosses at the trust pushed through controversial rota changes for consultant surgeons which reduced the number of “safe” consultants on call and put patients at risk.

Krish Singh, the former clinical director for general surgery, alleged the changes were made for “financial reasons”.

He was demoted in 2019 due to what the trust claimed were “performance and other issues”.

Mr Singh alleges the decision had been made while he was on holiday.

In a statement, the trust said: “The trust will vigorously contest these claims at the Employment Tribunals, which we are keen take place at the earliest opportunity so they can be examined properly and fairly.

“Dismissing anyone, or removing someone from a leadership role, is an absolute last resort and we would always seek to avoid this outcome if possible.

“In both of these cases, due process was followed, and we are confident we did the right things, in the right way, for the benefit of our patients, their care and safety.”

The trust previously said its main priority was delivering “safe and effective care”, that data does not reflect allegations of unnecessary deaths and that there was no evidence of a top-down toxic culture.”

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