Claims a surgeon kept the bones of more than 5,000 patients he operated on have led to a police inquiry.
Derek McMinn, who invented a hip treatment used on tennis star Sir Andy Murray, has been suspended from Edgbaston Hospital in Birmingham.
allegedly kept the bones of at least 5,224 of his patients, The Independent reported.
Owners Circle Health Group said it took the issues “incredibly seriously” and is also investigating.
The hospital group said the Edgbaston facility was now under new leadership and it would “leave no stone unturned in investigating these historic issues”.
West Mercia Police said it was investigating an allegation “of Breach of Statutory Licensing requirements under the Human Tissue Act 2004”, following a referral from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA).
The claims about Mr McMinn surfaced in a leaked report by BMI Healthcare, which ran the hospital until June this year when Circle Health Group took it over, The Independent reported.
Mr McMinn allegedly collected and stored body parts from patients over 25 years, breaching the Human Tissue Act, which prohibits the removing, storing or using of human tissue without appropriate consent, the newspaper said.
He is also alleged to have kept some of the bones at his farmhouse in Worcestershire.
The inquiry has continued for more than a year, with the matter referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office – the body that reports directly to parliament – which subsequently took no further action.
The HTA stated that following “an investigation after concerns were raised at the BMI The Edgbaston Hospital”, it made a referral to police.
Police said their investigation related to a private premises in Worcestershire and investigators were working “with the relevant authorities”.
The General Medical Council said it was aware of concerns and has asked asked BMI Healthcare to provide investigation reports and other relevant evidence.
It said it “can and will take action where there is evidence that a doctor poses a risk to patients or public confidence in the profession”.
According to his profile on The McMinn Centre website, Mr McMinn has performed more than 3,500 of his pioneering hip resurfacing operations and over 6,000 total hip replacements for patients, “including several high profile athletes”.
He graduated from St Thomas’ Hospital in London in 1977, where he won the Cheselden medal and first prize in surgery.
Circle Health Group said the “historic issues.. have all been reported to the appropriate authorities”, it would “co-operate closely with regulators” and “recommendations and learnings” had been made to staff.