A criminal investigation into potential negligence by surgeons in the general surgery and neurosurgery departments at the Royal Sussex County hospital in Brighton has been expanded by police.
The investigation will also look at alleged cover-up of mistakes that led to multiple deaths and injury to patients between 2015-2021.
Operation Bamber, a formal investigation into several deaths, was initially launched in June 2023 after two consultant surgeons who reported concerns over surgical standards were dismissed by the University hospital Sussex NHS trust, which runs the hospital.
Sussex police have yet to confirm the number of cases now under investigation but, according to the Guardian, it is likely to involve alleged mistakes in the treatment of more than 100 patients, including at least 40 who died.
Krishna Singh, an eminent surgeon, claimed he lost his job as the trust’s clinical director after raising concerns about patient safety, including some of the deaths now under investigation.
Documents show that Mr Singh suggested that cost-saving changes at the hospital were 'grossly unsafe and ultimately drove up complication rates and patient mortality'. He also claimed that the trust promoted inexperienced surgeons and overused insufficiently skilled locums.
In May 2023, the Care Quality Commission downgraded the standing of the trust after it found that standards at two of its hospitals had fallen.
Inspectors said staff and patients were being let down by senior leaders who appeared 'out of touch' with what was happening in clinical areas.
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