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Deaths probe cancer surgeon sacked

A top cancer surgeon being investigated by the police over patient death rates has been sacked by an NHS trust.

Mr Sudip Sarker was dismissed as a consultant colorectal surgeon, the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust announced in a statement.

The surgeon has been suspended from practising medicine in the UK by the General Medical Council (GMC) since June last year.

The announcement comes as West Mercia Police continues a criminal investigation into the deaths of a number of patients treated by the consultant.

Mr Sarker carried out work at both the NHS trust's Worcestershire Royal and Alexandra Hospitals, as well as private practice.

He started work for the trust in 2011 specialising in colon and bowel cancer treatment.

Acting trust chief executive Chris Tidman said: "Mr Sudip Sarker has been dismissed from his position as a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

"I do hope that the dismissal provides assurance that the trust will take whatever action is necessary so as to protect patient safety.

"In the meantime, Mr Sarker continues to be investigated by both the police and the General Medical Council."

The GMC confirmed Mr Sarker remains "suspended from registration" while its investigations continue.

The separate criminal inquiry, launched in February 2014, is examining the deaths of at least three patients with West Mercia Police confirming its investigation was also still "on-going".

Hannah Wallace, from legal firm Irwin Mitchell, is representing a group of patients alleging medical negligence while being treated under Mr Sarker and welcomed his dismissal.

She said: "Our clients are relieved at the latest developments and we hope that it will begin to restore confidence that lessons are being learnt from what happened.

"We are also assisting the police and the GMC with their investigations and hope that these will be concluded as quickly as possible.

"Improving patient safety has to be the ultimate priority throughout all of this activity."

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