A HELPLINE has been set up for patients concerned about allegations that a top surgeon from Clent harvested bone and tissue samples from operations carried out at a private hospital.

News broke last week that an investigation had been launched into claims renowned orthopaedic surgeon Derek McMinn allegedly kept the bones of more than 5,224 patients he operated on at Edgbaston Hospital, Birmingham.

Mr McMinn, of Calcott Hill, was suspended from the private hospital when the allegations came to light and Circle Health Group, which acquired the facility from BMI Healthcare in June this year, said it would "leave no stone unturned" in investigating the issues.

West Mercia Police confirmed officers were also investigating the matter and whether there has been a breach of the Human Tissue Act, which prohibits the removing, storing or using of human tissue without appropriate consent, and they said their "investigation relates to a private premises in Worcestershire".

Mr McMinn, the inventor of a pioneering hip resurfacing technique that was used on tennis star Sir Andy Murray, allegedly collected and stored body parts from patients over 25 years and is accused of keeping some of the bones at his farmhouse nestled amid the Clent Hills, according to the Independent newspaper which broke the story after an internal report was leaked.

Since the story emerged BMI Healthcare has published a number on its website inviting patients of Mr McMinn with any concerns to call its 'dedicated patient support team on 0800 096 2254'.

Hannah Travis, senior solicitor at London based law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp, said: "BMI healthcare have now set up a helpline for Mr McMinn’s former patients but they had not initially contacted anyone who may have been affected which is disgraceful.

"BMI need to ensure they are proactively investigating and then contacting any patients affected as soon as possible rather than expecting and relying on thousands of understandably panicked patients to make contact with them."

According to the website of The McMinn Centre, based in Birmingham, Mr McMinn has performed more than 3,500 hip resurfacings and more than 6,000 total hip replacements for patients "including several high profile athletes".

He graduated from St Thomas' Hospital in London in 1977 and surgeons from around the world have observed and trained with him, the website states.

Companies House shows he is also a director of JointMedica Limited in Kingswinford - an orthopaedic design and development ‘think tank’.