Surgeon Who Branded Patients Removed From Medical Register

Dr Rob Hicks

January 14, 2022

A consultant surgeon has been removed from the medical register after a review by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) concluded that his actions of using an argon beam coagulator to sign his initials on his patients’ organs were "borne out of a degree of professional arrogance".

The review did not accept Mr Bramhall’s claim that his actions were to "relieve operating theatre tensions" following difficult and long transplant operations, concluding that his behaviour "undermined" public trust in the medical profession.

The incidents occurred in 2013 whilst Mr Bramhall was working at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital as a transplant surgeon. His actions came to light when 4 cm initials were discovered by another doctor on an organ that Bramhall had transplanted but that had failed around a week later.

Mr Bramhall resigned from his Birmingham hospital post in 2014, and in December 2017 admitted two counts of assault by beating, being fined £10,000 the following year along with being served a 12-month community order.

Suspended, Reinstated, Removed

In December 2020 he was suspended from the medical register for 5 months. However, the following June the tribunal found that his "fitness to practise was no longer impaired". Subsequently his suspension order was revoked. Following an appeal against this decision by the General Medical Council (GMC), a High Court judge quashed the sanction, and the case was resubmitted to the MPST.

During the hearing, which lasted from January 4-10, 2022, the MPST commented: "The physical assault of two vulnerable patients whilst unconscious in a clinical setting, one of whom experienced significant and enduring emotional harm, seriously undermines patients’ and the public’s trust and confidence in the medical profession and inevitably brings the profession as a whole into disrepute.” Whilst acknowledging that no physical harm had come to either of the two patients the tribunal emphasised how Mr Bramhall’s behaviour had been a “gross violation of his patients’ dignity and autonomy."

In its determination the MPTS felt a suspension order would be "insufficient to protect the wider public interest" and concluded that erasure from the medical register would be an "appropriate and proportionate sanction".

On its website, under Mr Simon Bramhall, the GMC has recorded: "Doctor erased. Not yet in force, pending an appeal period."

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