Evil surgeon who burned his initials on patients livers could face longer ban

A twisted transplant surgeon who burned his initials onto the livers of two unconscious patients could have his punishment increased as a five-month suspension was "insufficient", according to the General Medical Council.

Simon Bramhall, who worked for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, was given a community order and fined £10,000 and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court in January 2018 after he admitted two counts of assault by beating.

He also admitted to police he used an argon beam machine to initial the organs.

He said he did it to relieve operating theatre tensions following transplant operations in 2013, Birmingham Live reports.

His actions were only discovered when one of his patients had to have more surgery a week later, leading a different surgeon to spot the liver specialist’s calling card.

Bramhall resigned from his job at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2014 when the act came to light, the court was told.

Now, High Court judge, Mrs Justice Collins Rice, has ordered a fresh Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing, saying a tribunal that considered the case last year did not "put its finger on precisely what was and was not wrong" with Mr Bramhall's conduct.

Mrs Justice Collins Rice was told that, in December 2020, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal imposed a five-month suspension on Bramhall's medical registration.

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Lawyers representing the GMC said the sanction was "insufficient to maintain public confidence" in the profession.

The judge, who published a ruling online on Tuesday after considering arguments at a High Court hearing earlier this month, allowed the GMC's appeal.

She said the case must be reconsidered by a new tribunal.

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"The Medical Practitioners Tribunal did not put its finger on precisely what was and was not wrong with Mr Bramhall's conduct and sanction accordingly," she said.

"It did not do full justice to this unique case. I allow this appeal on that basis.

"I am satisfied that the right way forward is to quash the sanctions determination and remit the case for a fresh determination by a differently constituted tribunal."

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