Care of 217 Spire patients reviewed amid surgeon probe

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Richard T Harris

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A review of patient care relates to a consultant’s work at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull

A private healthcare provider is reviewing the care of more than 200 patients after stopping a surgeon from practising.

Spire Healthcare said it had contacted 217 people whose shoulder operations were carried out by orthopaedic consultant Habib Rahman.

They have been offered consultation with an independent surgeon to assess their recovery.

The probe relates to Mr Rahman’s work at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull.

Spire Healthcare said it first restricted his practice in September 2018, before suspending his full practising privileges in January last year. Five months later, they were completely withdrawn.

Mr Rahman is employed by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which says that since July he has been subject to “working with interim restrictions”.

The trust says it has not recalled any of his NHS patients.

Spire said it had acted in line with safety procedure but did not say how concerns emerged, although a legal firm representing “a handful of patients” said the review focused on whether Mr Rahman undertook “unnecessary or inappropriate” surgery.

Linda Millband of Thompsons Solicitors said she became aware of the matter when one of Mr Rahman’s patients made contact on receiving a “recall letter” from Spire.

The patient, she said, sought advice on remembering that disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson had also operated at Spire hospitals in the Midlands.

Paterson was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of wounding patients.

A Spire spokesperson said during the period in which Mr Rahman’s practising privileges were downscaled, it invited the Royal College of Surgeons to review his work and liaise with the NHS, the Care Quality Commission and General Medical Council.

The spokesperson added that following the college’s guidance, the company wrote to “all shoulder patients who were identified as requiring follow-up” to “review their care and to understand more about their post-operative recovery”.