Clinical Negligence

Publish date

10 February 2021

Surgeon accused of being ‘financially motivated’ in harming patients

Consultant urologist Paul Miller is due to face a disciplinary hearing before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. He is accused of – amongst other things – being financially motivated when he recommended patients undergo experimental cancer treatments through a private company.

This is the latest development in a long running series of issues, which date back to 2004. It follows on from Mr Miller being sacked by East Surrey Hospital in Redhill in 2014 over concerns about the treatment given to his cancer patients.

The deaths of 10 patients treated by Mr Miller were also the subject of an inquest, which in October 2019 concluded that although they had all died from natural causes, there had been “missed opportunities” and “sub-optimal care”.

In addition, the coroner said Mr Miller had delayed experimental ultrasound treatment, while a “business case” was built for the high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) machine he co-owned.

Lawyers from Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP represented one of the families of the 10 patients who sadly died.

Commenting on this new disciplinary hearing, James Cahan, a partner in the clinical negligence team at Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP says: “The issue of the potential financial conflicts of interest involved in these patients’ private medical treatment, and failures to follow-up on reports of such conflict were raised back in 2016. Many parties called for these aspects to be investigated to ensure that the relevant safeguards were implemented.

“It is encouraging to see that Mr Miller will be further investigated for his conduct, but there are also wider issues here that need to be addressed, relating to the regulation and accountability of providers of private healthcare; how was this allowed to happen, unchecked and seemingly unnoticed, for such a prolonged period of time.”

The four month disciplinary hearing before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service is due to start during the week commencing 15 February. Mr Miller is accused of failing to provide adequate care for patients between November 2004 and July 2012, as well as of giving evidence he knew to be untrue to an inquest in 2018.

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