A British surgeon who helped save the career of Andy Murray has stored thousands of body parts from patients over 25 years, a leaked report alleges.
The surgeon, Derek McMinn, who developed a hip-resurfacing technique used on the two-time Wimbledon champion, kept bones of at least 5,224 people he operated on.
Some of the body parts stored for “research” purposes were from children, it has been alleged.
Dr McMinn allegedly kept the bones despite not having a licence to do so or the proper consent from patients, an investigation found.
The grisly case has been referred to West Mercia Police by the Human Tissue Authority.
Some staff at Edgbaston Hospital in Birmingham allegedly helped McMinn store the bones in pots used to preserve them, according to a leaked report, seen by the Independent, for BMI Healthcare.
It has been reported that the surgeon’s patients – who paid as much as £13,000 for the private surgeries – were not made aware of his alleged actions even when BMI completed its internal review in October last year.
The storing of the bones dates back to the 1990s, the report alleges.
McMinn admitted to hospital chiefs last year that he had been keeping body parts at his seven-bedroom house in Worcestershire as well as his office in Birmingham, the report claims.
He claimed he did so with the full knowledge of his colleagues claiming he was collecting the bones for his retirement, it is alleged.
Police confirmed they are probing an alleged breach of the Human Tissue Act.
The hip procedure the surgeon developed involves removing the surface of the ball joint on the hip and replacing it with a metal sphere.
Before this ground breaking surgery, the whole joint and part of the thigh bone had to be replaced.
And it is bones from these hip joints that the doctor has allegedly collected since the 1990s without his patients’ consent.
He also hoarded thousands of patent records and X-rays in a collection described as being similar to a “police database”, the investigation alleges.
Part of McMinn’s alleged collection was first discovered in March 2019 during a routine pathology audit at Edgbaston Hospital.
Andy Murray underwent surgery in January last year.
The BMI report found no evidence that the doctor had any approval for research or that any research had been carried out.
He is said to have been warned that “in future” bones needed to be removed from the hospital on the day of surgery.
And it wasn’t until August that the hip surgeon was asked to justify why he had allegedly collected the human body parts by watchdog the Care Quality Commission.
McMinn responded by email claiming “the samples were to be used for research, that he had been collecting tissue for 25 years, that he obtained verbal consent and that he had several thousand labelled samples in formalin pots with the corresponding notes, X-rays and investigations”.
Later that month, he was suspended by BMI who informed the General Medical Council (GMC) and Human Tissue Authority – although there are no GMC restrictions on his licence to practice, the Independent reports.
One of the doctor’s staff said he had allegedly collected 5,224 bones although the report was unable to verify the exact number.