A cancer expert declined to treat her brain tumor with a discredited NHS colleague.


A cancer specialist has told how she refused to let an NHS colleague treat her brain tumor because she didn’t trust him.

Dr. Phyllis Windsor was seen by Professor Sam Eljamel in 2006 but immediately grew wary of the surgeon and decided to seek treatment in London instead.

It would later emerge that Eljamel had repeatedly failed surgeries and left patients with life-changing injuries while working for NHS Tayside between 1995 and 2013.

Dr. Windsor, 71, had her consultation with Eljamel after being diagnosed with a pituitary tumour. But the oncologist said her suspicions were aroused when he said he could completely remove the tumor.

The surgeon also wanted to give her photodynamic therapy, which Dr. Windsor said was not right for her.

Dr.  Phyllis Windsor (pictured) was seen by Professor Sam Eljamel in 2006 but immediately became wary of the surgeon

Dr. Phyllis Windsor (pictured) was seen by Professor Sam Eljamel in 2006 but immediately became wary of the surgeon

Eljamel (pictured) had repeatedly failed surgeries and left patients with life-changing injuries while working for NHS Tayside between 1995 and 2013

Eljamel (pictured) had repeatedly failed surgeries and left patients with life-changing injuries while working for NHS Tayside between 1995 and 2013

She subsequently sought treatment elsewhere, despite working alongside Eljamel at NHS Tayside.

Dr. Windsor said none of Eljamel’s colleagues held him accountable, even though he repeatedly made mistakes.

The retired medic, who spent 28 years with NHS Tayside, now supports a public inquiry into the scandal, claiming the culture at her old board of health is ‘toxic’.

Speaking about her case yesterday, she said: ‘The tumor was operable but complete removal was impossible because it had grown into the bones at the base of my skull.

‘The standard treatment would have been good partial removal followed by radiotherapy to prevent recurrence.

‘I didn’t trust the man. There was no discussion. I don’t think he knew what he was doing.

“I wasn’t about to let him get near my head. Thank goodness I didn’t, now these stories have come out. I was lucky enough to have the knowledge not to trust him.’

Campaigners are pushing for an investigation into why Eljamel was able to harm patients for so long. Whistleblowers claim NHS chiefs were aware of concerns about him in 2009, four years before his suspension.

Dr.  Windsor sought treatment elsewhere, despite working alongside Eljamel at NHS Tayside

Dr. Windsor sought treatment elsewhere, despite working alongside Eljamel at NHS Tayside

Dr.  Windsor said none of Eljamel's colleagues held him accountable, even though he repeatedly made mistakes

Dr. Windsor said none of Eljamel’s colleagues held him accountable, even though he repeatedly made mistakes

One of his victims, Jules Rose.  According to a 2018 BBC Scotland documentary, Eljamel was allowed to operate on Mrs Rose despite bosses already being concerned about him.

One of his victims, Jules Rose. According to a 2018 BBC Scotland documentary, Eljamel was allowed to operate on Mrs Rose despite bosses already being concerned about him.

Ms Rose (pictured) previously said she feels 'one of the lucky ones' after a botched operation to remove a brain tumor

Ms Rose (pictured) previously said she feels ‘one of the lucky ones’ after a botched operation to remove a brain tumor

The Scottish government has announced an independent commission into the disgraced surgeon, but has stopped the full public inquiry demanded by his ex-patients.

One of his victims, Theresa Mallett, harassed Prime Minister Humza Yousaf at an SNP independence convention in Dundee last month.

Dr. Windsor, from Kinfauns, Perthshire, supports a public inquiry and believes other senior medics must have been aware of Eljamel’s shortcomings.

She said, “How on earth none of them knew how badly he operated is beyond me. They would have been there to see what he was doing. None of them held him accountable.

‘NHS Tayside may need to be taken in special measures. I don’t think they are capable of running a hospital.

‘I wouldn’t want to see anyone at NHS Tayside. The whole culture is poisonous. That’s definitely what I left behind. I feel sorry for his victims. Most people have complete confidence in doctors.’

NHS Tayside said: ‘In 2013 there were concerns about Professor Eljamel. He was suspended in December 2013 and never returned to work at NHS Tayside. There have been three external reviews of Professor Eljamel’s practices. They all contain recommendations to strengthen procedures and NHS Tayside have accepted and implemented all of them.’

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