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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 20:07 GMT
Soup row surgeon praises hospital
Dr Hope speaking outside his home
Dr Hope has been suspended on full pay
The top brain surgeon suspended from his job in a row over a bowl of soup has spoken for the first time.

Terence Hope said he does not bear a grudge against his employer, the Nottingham University Hospital Trust, for its actions.

He has been accused of not paying for an extra helping of soup in the Queen's Medical Centre canteen.

He was suspended on his full 80,000 a year salary last Wednesday while an investigation got underway.

No intervention

Mr Hope told BBC Radio Nottingham he did not want to sound bitter.

Speaking outside his home in the village of Hemington, Leicestershire, he said: "It is very easy to be negative at these times and I think the people of the East Midlands and the whole of the Midlands should realise that the University Hospital is a marvellous institution.

"It has some of the best surgeons and doctors and nurses in the world and I am very proud to work there."

Dr Hope is alleged to have taken an extra helping of soup and croutons and not paid, according to the Daily Mail.

Junior health minister Lord Warner has said the suspension is a matter for the trust and not the government.

The trust itself has only so far confirmed that a member of staff has been suspended and a meeting is expected.

Three operations have so far had to be cancelled in Dr Hope's absence.

The BBC's Catherine Marston
"The Queen's Medical Centre says it is a serious and difficult decision to suspend a consultant"

Minister stays out of soup row
23 Mar 04  |  Nottinghamshire

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