CONTROVERSIAL breast surgeon Ian Paterson has appeared in court charged with 21 counts of unlawfully and maliciously wounding 11 patients.
Paterson, now 58, did not enter a plea to the Section 18 assault charges – when he appeared at Birmingham Magistrate’s Court on Monday (January 18).
A section 18 assault – referred to as wounding with intent or causing grievous bodily harm with intent – places the focus on the phrase ‘with intent’.
Paterson, of Castle Mill Lane, Altrincham, in Cheshire, treated hundreds of women at Solihull Hospital and the private Spire Parkway Hospital from 1993 to 2012, which is when the offences are alleged to have taken place.
He was suspended by the General Medical Council in 2012 amid allegations he carried out unnecessary, inappropriate and/or unregulated operations.
He is accused of carrying out invasive breast surgery on women with suspected breast cancer when a simple biopsy may have been sufficient.
He is also accused of using the banned ‘cleavage sparing’ mastectomy procedure.
This controversial and unapproved approach involves leaving behind some potentially cancerous tissue for cosmetic reasons and leaving women in greater danger of their cancer returning.
Patterson also carried out procedures on women who didn’t even have breast cancer.
Concerns about his work first came to light in 2007, but he was not excluded from the Heart of England NHS Trust until 2011.
A spokesperson for Spire Healthcare said: “Spire Healthcare acknowledges that Mr Ian Paterson has today been charged with criminal offences against eleven of his patients.
“What happened to some of Mr Paterson’s patients was unacceptable and we continue to learn the lessons from it.
“We take this opportunity to repeat the apology that Spire Healthcare has previously given for the distress suffered by Mr Paterson’s patients treated in our hospitals.
“We cannot provide any further comment at this time.”
A spokesperson for Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust said: “We appreciate the distress caused to patients and their families.
“The Trust will fully comply with the legal process however in light of the charges it is not appropriate for us to comment further.”
Paterson has been granted conditional bail to appear before Birmingham Crown Court on February 15.