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Criminal probe announced into Derby surgeon’s work

today8 September 2022 1

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A criminal investigation has been launched by police into former Derby doctor Daniel Hay, further delaying an NHS-led investigation which has gone on for two years. In a statement today (September 8) the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust announced that it can no longer publish an imminent report assessing the care Dr Hay provided to patients between 2015 and 2018.

This is due to a formal announcement, also today, from Derbyshire police that they have launched a criminal investigation into the former Derby gynaecologist, aged 57, who lives near Alfreton. It is understood the investigation focuses on women who had hysterectomies or underwent sterilisation conducted by Dr Hay, the allegation being that no other alternative options were considered in place of the life-changing surgeries.

Read more: Cases of 17 patients treated by ex-Derby doctor referred to police

Police have not indicated the time-line of care provided by Dr Hay which they will be assessing, with the NHS investigation having been focused on the years 2015-2018.

Numerous patients and law firms have been calling for the scope of investigation into Dr Hay’s care to be significantly expanded, with some patients’ cases dating back to 2001, across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

A Derbyshire Police spokesperson said: “A criminal investigation has been launched into medical procedures conducted by a former doctor at the Royal Derby Hospital.

“The investigation follows reports that a number of women allegedly suffered harm under the care of former gynaecologist Dr Daniel Hay.

“This is a complex case which is in its early stages, and will take time to ensure a thorough and robust inquiry into the allegations is conducted.”

A hospital trust spokesperson said that the review into Dr Hay has now concluded and the women involved in the investigation have received letters and an invite to speak to an independent gynaecology consultant.

They said: “We now understand Derbyshire Constabulary are opening a criminal investigation into the individual.

“We regret we are therefore unable to publish the full report at this stage as we had intended.”

Dr James Crampton, the trust’s interim executive medical director said: “The standard of care some of these women received was below that which we strive to provide and for that I am very sorry.

“We will cooperate fully with Derbyshire Constabulary to support their investigation.”

The trust says anyone needing reassurance should contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01332 786653, email uhdb.contactpalsderby@nhs.net or write to the following address: Patient Advice and Liaison Service, Royal Derby Hospital, Uttoxeter New Road, Derby, DE22 3NE.

The Medical Defence Union, which is acting on Dr Hay’s behalf, said that the surgeon “has no comment to make” regarding the criminal investigation.

Dr Hay has not provided a statement through the MDU since July last year, when he said: “I apologise to the women affected by the NHS investigation. I am co-operating with the investigation, however, due to my ongoing mental health issues, I ask that you please respect my privacy at this time.”

Last month, the Local Democracy Reporting Service broke the news that at least 17 women had agreed to have their cases passed to the police as part of an investigation into Dr Hay.

The LDRS had revealed in April that the police were involved with the NHS-led investigation, whose treatment of hundreds of women patients has given “cause for concern”.

At the time, the LDRS shared its understanding that the police had set up Operation Land Guard to consider if the actions taken by Dr Hay amount to criminal offences and will be working with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The now-delayed NHS report would have been the first comprehensive investigation into Dr Hay’s work and was being pursued by NHS England, with the cooperation of UHDB, with the trust having carried its own limited review in early 2020.

This follows more than two years of waiting for patients of Dr Hay who were hoping to finally see the conclusions of the report into the standard of care provided by him.

The main NHS England investigation relates to care Dr Hay provided to women between 2015-2018 while an obstetric and gynaecological specialist based at Royal Derby Hospital, including care provided at Ripley Community Hospital.

The investigation so far includes 383 women identified as former patients of his which may have cause for concern.

An interim report for the investigation was published by NHS England in May last year, concluded that there was “major concern” that 50 women were likely to have been harmed as a result of the care provided by Dr Hay.

It also found “some concern” that a further 69 women were potentially harmed as a result of Dr Hay’s care.

Dr Hay relinquished his medical licence in July 2021, meaning he is no longer able to practice medicine.

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