Hospital doctor embodies everything good about the NHS

The innovative surgery has never been performed in the UK before and involved four consultants.

Ian Snug
11 April 2018

The Consultant Surgeon stole the hearts of millions of viewers as he fought to ensure a patient’s life-changing surgery went ahead.

Dilip Srinivasan, Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon and Clinical Director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trusts stole the hearts of millions of views after revealing his refreshingly down-to-earth approach to patient care.


During the episode, Mr Srinivasan is due to perform life-changing surgery on Val Blunden, who’s entire jaw was destroyed by mouth cancer several years earlier, but an instruction from the Department of Health to cancel all such surgeries puts her surgery at risk of being cancelled.

The innovative surgery has never been performed in the UK before and involved four consultants.

Explaining the surgery Mr Srinivasian said; “We had to use a different type of technique. What we have done in Nottingham is grow the bone by a distraction.

“What that technique is when you break a bone, for the bone to heal it [requires] first the soft bone – before the bone becomes hard – being stretched to make the bone longer.


“That’s the technique that we have used. We have done this in a few operations before, But what we have not done is on a patient missing bone, skin and muscles.

“All three missing I have not come across anyone in the UK who has done it or in world literature.”

When informed that Val’s surgery was on the list to be cancelled Mr Srinivasan worked alongside general managers, Jo Fort and David Dalby to ensure the surgery went ahead.

During filming, Mr Srinivasan was asked why he pushed so hard to ensure the surgery went ahead Mr Srinivasan replied; “Urgency, you are talking from whose perspective? If you can’t go out of your house, you can’t eat, you can’t talk, it is urgent”. 


Filmmakers questioned Mr Srinivasan on why is thought the surgery was necessary; “It doesn’t sound very urgent?”. “It doesn’t matter what she is, what she is now is the question. What she is now is someone who is suffering” replied Mr Srinivasan.

Since filming Val’s jaw was grown by 9cm and she continues to do well.

A spokesperson for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said; “Thank you for featuring the work of Dilip and our Maxillofacial team. We have had a great response both to them and to Val and her family, and the progress she is making. Since January we have unfortunately had to cancel 800 routine operations, but we hope that Hospital is showing how we have worked as a team to make difficult choices in the best interests of our patients.”

You can catch up on ‘Hospital’ on BBC iPlayer.

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