Who is Ian Paterson?
Ian Paterson, Consultant Breast Surgeon, was jailed in 2017 after investigations showed that he had carried out unnecessary procedures on countless patients. He is currently serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and 3 counts of unlawful wounding.
Ian Paterson worked for the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. He also had a private practice at Spire Parkway in Solihull and Spire Little Aston in Birmingham during his career.
Estimated suggest that he treated more than 11,000 patients across these hospitals.
Why was Ian Paterson convicted?
In 2011, Mr Paterson was suspended from operating. The suspension was due to several concerns raised by patients and colleagues about his practice.
Independent investigations commenced through Spire, and a criminal prosecution case started.
The outcome of the investigations found that Mr Paterson routinely performed unregulated mastectomies. These were said to be “cleavage sparing”, which left his patients with remaining breast tissue.
The purpose of this technique is to improve the cosmetic appearance of the breasts. However, guidelines state that surgeons should ensure no excess tissue remains due to the risk of breast cancer recurrence.
In addition to the cleavage sparing mastectomies, investigations also showed Mr Paterson had performed unnecessary operations on patients that did not have breast cancer.
As well as subjecting patients to unnecessary surgery and the associated anaesthetic, patients suffered avoidable scarring.
Investigations revealed that Mr Paterson would advise patients that they had pre-cancerous lumps which needed removing. However, it was found that the lumps were usually benign and harmless.
As a result, some patients even underwent chemotherapy. This procedure would have been no benefit but subjected them to unnecessary pain and suffering.
New Scheme for Compensation
In early 2020, a Government-appointed independent review of the patients of Mr Paterson. The review called for all patients to be contacted by Spire Healthcare and informed that Mr Paterson had treated them.
It was initially thought that all of the victims had been recalled by Spire Healthcare. But it is now known that this is not the case.
By December 2020, Spire Healthcare had contacted an additional 5,500 patients and reported that some of these patients had suffered unnecessary harm.
We understand that Spire Healthcare continue to review their patients. There is a strong suspicion that there may be other patients that Mr Paterson’s practice has harmed.
Spire Healthcare has proposed a new compensation fund for any further victims of Ian Paterson. A previous £37million scheme had been in place to cover compensation claims from 750 former patients of Mr Paterson.
Spire Healthcare set this compensation scheme up in 2018. This was before the identification of any additional patients affected.
Spire Healthcare has also appeared in Court to repeal this previous order. The Court case prevented the Solicitors involved from pursuing new claims against them.
How Ringrose Law can help
The new Order, granted at a hearing on the 26th July 2021, means that patients of Ian Paterson can now approach any law firm for advice. And to apply to the new compensation scheme on their behalf.
The new scheme is a positive step to providing those new patients that have been affected with a way of obtaining compensation.
We understand that this will be the final opportunity for victims of Ian Paterson to seek compensation and urge anyone that may have been affected to come forward.