A SURGEON who bungled spine operations at a private hospital in Scotland and was allowed to continue practising has voluntarily quit as a medical practitioner.

The General Medical Council has confirmed it has agreed that Colin Campbell Mainds can "relinquish his registration", which means he is no longer able to treat patients or work as a doctor in the UK.

The GMC also confirmed there would be no further action pursued by the health standards watchdog regarding other complaints made against the doctor, who had been a registered medical practitioner for more than 33 years.

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The move has infuriated former patients, who were left with long-term pain and mobility problems after surgery by Mr Mainds.

Mr Mainds, 56, from the Isle of Arran, had been allowed to continue operating in the NHS after a medical tribunal investigating a series of blunders by the surgeon at BMI Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow imposed a list of restrictions on his ability to practise medicine.

It is understood that four former patients are currently making claims in connection with the operations and their legal teams have been in discussions with Mr Mainds's representatives, the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland.

David Russell, one of the patients treated by Mr Mainds, said: "I am disgusted to learn that Mr Mainds has withdrawn himself.

"At the same time his medical defence union seem hell-bent on ­minimising payouts."

A GMC source said: "We cannot investigate a doctor's fitness to practise if that doctor is no longer registered. It's worth emphasising that the law provides for us to protect patients by taking the appropriate action on a doctor's ability to practise medicine, not to punish doctors or provide redress for patients or the public."

Mr Mainds was unavailable for comment.