A hospital is facing calls to suspend a number of brain surgeons while police investigate potential medical negligence which could have led to the death of more than 40 patients.

Sussex Police are looking into concerns around neurosurgery and general surgery at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton between 2015 and 2021.

Operation Bamber is now reported to involve alleged mistakes in the treatment of more than 100 patients from 2015 and 2021, including at least 40 who died.

Families of those directly affected by the alleged negligent medical practices have demanded that the surgeons who operated on their loved ones are suspended while the inquiry continues.

Audrey Sharma’s husband was left severely disabled after undergoing an immediate operation for a grade four tumour in 2020, the Guardian reports.

She said the tumour was a misdiagnosis and her husband had a stroke during surgery, which the hospital said was an “unavoidable complication”.

Ms Sharma wrote to University Hospital Sussex (UHS), which runs the RSCH, saying her husband’s neurosurgeon “should be suspended pending the investigation outcome”.

The call was backed by Brainstrust, a UK-based brain tumour charity, the Guardian adds.

But the hospital trust said it remains confident in its staff.

Professor Katie Urch, chief medical officer for University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I know the Sharma family have been through a terrible ordeal and our teams would always want to support them in any way they can.

“Keeping patients as safe as possible is the single most important job we have, so we will always act whenever necessary to protect people from avoidable harm. 

“As well as our own internal safeguards and auditing, we closely monitor national data on patient outcomes for all our services.

“Those for neurosurgery are similar to the NHS standard and have been for a number of years. However, we always listen to recommendations on how to improve standards of care, both from inside and outside the trust, and take steps to implement them wherever we can."

Six of the nine neurosurgeons at the RSCH have been named in a whistleblowing document produced by a former neurosurgeon.

Three of those specifically named in the report still work at the trust and continue to operate on patients, the Guardian reports.

UHS told The Argus that none of the neurosurgeons working at the RSCH has restrictions on their practice from the General Medical Council, and none of the nine are under investigation by the GMC.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “Sussex Police has received allegations of medical negligence at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, and is currently assessing these allegations.

“The concerns raised relate to neurosurgery and general surgery in a period between 2015 and 2021.

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“Enquiries are at an early stage and this does not necessarily mean this will lead to criminal prosecution.

“We are working closely with partner agencies and the hospital trust is co-operating fully with our review.

“We are still in the scoping phase of this investigation. The investigation is looking at both patient deaths and incidents of serious harm.”