NUMEROUS opportunities were missed to prevent controversial ‘cleavage sparing’ mastectomy surgeon Ian Paterson carrying out his potentially life-threatening operations at Spire Parkway Hospital.
That is the damning verdict of an independent report this week.
Paterson – who also carried out hundreds of unnecessary and unregulated operations on women at Solihull Hospital – is believed to have operated on hundreds of women at the Spire Parkway Hospital and its sister hospital in Little Aston.
A damning report into Paterson’s tenure at Solihull Hospital was released in December, highlighting massive failures, secrecy and weak and indecisive leadership at the hospital which allowed him, despite previous warnings and investigations, to continue his dangerous methods of operating which left women with a greater chance of their breast cancer returning.
And this week’s report into his tenure at the Spire hospitals has been equally damning.
As well as performing his controversial mastectomies without patients’ knowledge, Paterson is also alleged to have gone against other patients wishes when they insisted he removed all of their breast tissue, operated on people who did not need operations and carried out operations – colonoscopies – he was not permitted to do so.
The Heart of England trust told Paterson to stop performing the unregulated operations in 2007 after an internal investigation – but there is evidence he carried on until at least 2010.
Concerns were first raised about his controversial technique as far back as 2003.
But despite an audit and subsequent review nothing was done and he carried on under the noses of hospital bosses.
The Heart of England Trust passed its information on Paterson to Spire in December 2007 where he was also told to stop the procedure in January 2008.
Despite this, he is still believed to have carried on at the private hospitals until at least January 2009.
Rob Roger, chief executive of Spire Healthcare, has given a full and unreserved apology to all of the patients and their families for any distress they have suffered as a result of their treatment by Mr Paterson.
He also apologised to the professionals who raised concerns at the time Mr Paterson was practising.
“The independent report makes for difficult reading and we intend to learn from this incident,” he added.
“This has been a challenging situation for everyone involved, and we will continue to ensure our patients affected by this are cared for.”
For a timeline of events at the Spire hospitals turn to page four.