EXCLUSIVE: First complaint about disgraced Dundee doctor Eljamel made two decades ago

The first known complaint against disgraced doctor Sam Eljamel during his time working in Dundee was made more than two decades ago, The Courier can reveal.

One patient raised concerns about the ex-NHS Tayside neurosurgeon to a medical watchdog 12 years before he was suspended, sparking further questions over the scandal’s timeline.

Data released by the General Medical Council (GMC) shows they handled a complaint in 2001, giving extra clarity after we revealed a grievance was flagged up sometime prior to 2008.

Something should have been done about this man many years ago.”

– Campaigner Pat Kelly.

Lead campaigner Pat Kelly, who went under the knife in 2007, had to fight for the GMC to release key records on complaints lodged against Eljamel.

Following the latest revelations, he said: “It does raise further concerns. Something should have been done about this man many years ago.

“Eljamel was a problem from way back, and he was allowed to continue operating on patients.”

Mr Kelly wishes the GMC had made records about Eljamel public years ago, before they were forced to do so by information regulators.

He said: “It would have built a better picture of us for what was going on. People must be held to account.”

Eljamel timeline of complaints

Earlier this year, NHS Tayside bosses admitted concerns about Eljamel had first been flagged in 2011, two years before action was taken.

Previously the health board insisted 2013 was when they became aware of the medic being unfit to practice, despite whistleblowers claiming they raised the alarm in 2009.

Yet patients have been left with further doubts about how far Eljamel’s butchery stretches back further given the fresh revelations from the GMC.

The watchdog says the complaint was taken no further after initially being brought forward by an unknown patient, and NHS Tayside was not informed.

In total 16 complaints have been raised against Eljamel to the GMC, the vast majority of them coming after he was suspended.

The rogue neurosurgeon, who was employed at Ninewells from 1995 onwards, repeatedly botched operations on patients while working in Dundee.

NHS Tayside’s internal report, released in August, led to First Minister Humza Yousaf ordering a public inquiry into the scandal.

Lead Eljamel campaigner Pat Kelly. Image: Kim Cessford/DC Thomson.

It came after years of campaigning from victims who insisted it was the only way for them to get vital answers.

A spokesperson for the GMC said previously: “We have responded to a Freedom of Information Act request concerning Dr Sam Eljamel, in line with the Information Commissioner’s instructions.

“Our records indicate that 16 concerns about Dr Sam Eljamel were recorded between 1995 and 2023.”

NHS Tayside declined to comment.

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