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  1. ITV Report

Surgeon who burnt initials on patients’ livers during organ transplants sentenced

Watch Chris Halpin's full report above

A well-known and respected surgeon who admitted burning his initials onto the livers of two patients during transplant operations has been sentenced.

Simon Bramhall, 53, seared his initials on a patient's liver after conducting a difficult transplant in a "naive and foolhardy" attempt to relieve tension, a court heard.

The consultant has been sentenced to a 12-month community order and fined £10,000 at Birmingham Crown Court.

Last month, Bramhall pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating, after prosecutors accepted his not guilty pleas to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm relating to two patients.

The operations were carried out in 2013 at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Both patients had been under anesthetic.

He used an argon beam machine, an instrument designed to seal bleeding blood vessels, to sear his initials 'SB' into their livers.

Medical experts have said that the "burning" of organs would not have caused damage to their health or affected clinicial outcomes for patients.

He resigned from his job at the hospital in 2014 after another surgeon found "SB" branded on a failed donor liver.

Simon Bramhall admitted burning his initials onto the livers of two patients. Credit: ITV News Central

Opening the facts of the case against Bramhall, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said one of the two victims initialled by the world-renowned surgeon had been left feeling "violated" and suffering ongoing psychological harm.

When Bramall pleaded guilty last month, the prosecutor said the offences were an abuse of position and were made worse by the fact he repeated his actions.

This is not the first time that Bramhall has made the headlines. In 2010, a plane that was carrying a liver for transplant crashed at Birmingham Airport.

The liver was salvaged from the plane and Bramhall successfully transplanted the liver into the patient and saved the patients life.

During Bramhall’s sentencing, more than 20 former patients of the liver surgeon were in court to support him.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust reassured his patients that there was no impact on clinical outcomes. Credit: PA images

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust is clear that Mr Bramhall made a mistake in the context of a complex clinical situation and this has been dealt with via the appropriate authorities, including the Trust as his then employer.

However, we can reassure his patients that there was no impact whatsoever on the quality of his clinical outcomes.”