Families of rogue surgeon's victims win huge payouts; Consultant lied about experience to get job.
Byline: Jeanette Oldham Investigations Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
AHOSPITAL trust which employed a rogue surgeon has paid huge compensation settlements to families of five of his patients who later died.
Crooked consultant Sudip Sarker was jailed for six years earlier this month for lying about his surgical experience to land a key role at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
Cash-strapped Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust previously confirmed it had paid damages to 19 of his patients, totalling PS1,970,000.
But the Post has discovered that five of those patients had died after surgery involving Sarker and their families are understood to have received six-figure settlements for clinical negligence.
Inquests are due to take place into the deaths of four of his patients who underwent operations at the Alexandra, where he worked from August 2011 until June 2012.
The inquests for William Jones, aged 84, Daphne Taylor, 81, Jean Thomas, 80, and 68-year-old Sidney Millin will take place in the autumn.
Before then, Sarker will face a Proceeds of Crime hearing in May which will look at seizing any assets or cash linked to his fraud.
A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed that five of the 19 compensation claims related to deceased patients.
"The claims were made through the Clinical Negligence Scheme so will broadly be for clinical negligence," he said.
A final 20th compensation claim has yet to be settled. But once agreed, the total money paid out by the Trust is expected to top PS2 million.
Sarker was convicted of fraud after a trial at Worcester Crown Court.
A jury heard he had lied about his medical experience to land a PS100,000-a-year job as a consultant colorectal surgeon after being interviewed by a selection panel at the trust. But alarm bells began ringing after fears that a disproportionate number of patients, many battling cancer, suffered life-changing complications after their treatment.
A Royal College of Surgeons report was presented to the health trust in October 2012 after investigators interviewed hospital staff and examined patient records.
It is understood that they recommended patients and other relevant bodies should be alerted immediately to the Sarker concerns.
Yet the Trust only went public by launching a helpline for patients in June 2013 - after the Birmingham Post exposed the scandal.
What followed was a chain of events that eventually led to a full police investigation and the eventual jailing of the greedy surgeon.
Prosecutor Jacob Hallam said Sarker had been guilty of an abuse of position of power, trust and responsibility and his appointment had led to many 'disastrous operations'.
"This fraud has a serious detrimental effect on all the victims," he said.
Sudip Sarker was jailed for six years