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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 19:17 GMT
Soup row surgeon is reinstated
Dr Hope speaking outside his home
Dr Hope was suspended on full pay
The surgeon suspended by Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre in a row over a bowl of soup has been reinstated.

On Wednesday the QMC issued a statement saying Terence Hope, a leading neuro-surgeon, will return to work on Friday.

Mr Hope was suspended last Wednesday in a row over whether he paid for an extra helping of soup and croutons in the staff canteen.

The QMC said it was obliged to look into the affair, which has now been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

Three operations were postponed as a result of the suspension and the action provoked outrage amongst union members and Mr Hope's patients.

The Trust would like to acknowledge that this has been a difficult time for Mr Hope, who is a valued member of our surgical team.

Queen's Medical Centre NHS Trust spokeswoman
The hospital said it had taken immediate steps to minimise any impact from the suspension.

But it has also apologised to Mr Hope's patients and their families for any anxiety caused.

During the suspension Mr Hope, who lives in Leicestershire but also has a weekly clinic in Derbyshire, had spoken only to praise hospital staff.

A spokeswoman for the Queen's Medical Centre NHS Trust confirmed he will be back at the hospital on Friday and said: "The Trust would like to acknowledge that this has been a difficult time for Mr Hope, who is a valued member of our surgical team."

She added: "The three patients who had their surgery postponed during the five days that Mr Hope was suspended will now be contacted to agree an earliest possible date for their surgery.

"We can also confirm that those patients due for surgery on Monday will be operated on by Mr Hope."

'Last resort'

Mr Hope, a 57-year-old father-of-three from Hemington, Leicestershire, has worked at the hospital for 18 years.

Speaking after the statement, he said; "I am very pleased that the Trust, as promised, has taken steps to resolve the situation as a matter of urgency and that this unfortunate episode is now over.

"I am looking forward to going back to work and treating my patients."

Dr Paul Miller, chairman of the British Medical Association's Consultants Committee, said: "Whilst recognising that under certain circumstances it is necessary to suspend a doctor to protect patient safety, it should be the last resort for hospital management and only used when patients are at risk.

"It is not cost-effective or in patients' interests to keep doctors at home when they could be working and treating patients.

Minister stays out of soup row
23 Mar 04  |  Nottinghamshire
Soup row surgeon praises hospital
23 Mar 04  |  Nottinghamshire

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