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21st January 2020

Environment Son suing Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust over father’s death

Environment Son suing Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust over father’s death


environment Dr Paul Miller

Image caption

Dr Paul Miller was sacked in 2014 amid concerns over the treatment provided to 10 cancer patients

An NHS trust is being sued after a man died following a “gross failure to provide basic medical attention” after being treated by a senior doctor.

Consultant urologist Paul Miller was sacked by East Surrey Hospital in Redhill in 2014 amid concerns over the treatment given to 10 cancer patients.

An inquest found there had been “missed opportunities” and “sub-optimal care”.

Mark Avery, whose father Renfried died in 2012, is taking legal action against Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

In October, senior coroner Penelope Schofield concluded that the death of 80-year-old Mr Avery, from Worthing, West Sussex, along with two other patients, was from natural causes, but that this was contributed to by neglect.

Mr Avery, from Horsham, said the inquest gave him some closure and finally a sense of justice for his father, but he was now seeking an apology and wants his legal costs for the inquest covered.

Image caption

The 10 cancer patients treated at East Surrey Hospital died between 2006 and 2015

“It was never about money, it was about getting justice for my father,” he said.

He added that he was sad that he had to sue the trust, rather than Mr Miller directly.

“He apologised to me at the coroner’s court and, to be honest, I do not accept it,” he recalled.

Mr Avery said Mr Miller’s apology was “hollow” and he awaits the decision of the General Medical Council on Mr Miller’s licence.

Dr Ed Cetti, medical director at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are sorry that historic poor practice led to some patients not receiving the standard of care they were entitled to expect.

“In the years since this period, we have worked hard to create the environment, systems and processes that ensure staff are supported to raise concerns, and that lessons are learnt and improvements made as a result.”

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