Consultant urologist Paul Miller, who inappropriately treated cancer patients on a machine he co-owned, has been struck off the medical register. This comes in the latest ruling by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) which had earlier found he acted dishonestly by not disclosing a financial interest.
The ruling 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 the ruling, 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 now no longer be able to practise medicine in the UK, 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.
“There needs to be a major shift in the culture towards more proactive investigation of complaints and a move away from denial and avoidance. I also think better data sharing – particularly between the NHS and private institutions – has a role to play in helping to identify problems earlier. Hopefully this case can now be a catalyst for wider change.”
James Cahan originally shared his comments in an interview with BBC Radio Surrey.