HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt has promised to hold a ‘comprehensive and focused’ enquiry into Ian Paterson’s horrific crimes – if the Conservatives are returned to power in the June General Election.
In a statement, Mr Hunt said: “The conviction of Ian Paterson, and recent disclosures about the seriousness and extent of his malpractice, are profoundly shocking.
“A highly qualified medical professional, with a duty of care for his patients, totally neglected that duty and instead performed unnecessary procedures on a huge number of women.
“As a result I have agreed that, if returned to government, we will hold a comprehensive and focused inquiry to ensure that any lessons are learnt in the interests of ensuring patients are protected in future.
“We will take any testimony from those affected, their families, and others who may wish to come forward.”
Rogue surgeon Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding, but was granted conditional bail ahead of being sentenced – due to be some time in May.
Dame Caroline Spelman has welcomed Mr Hunt’s pledge.
She said: “Having repeatedly called for a public inquiry into this case, I am pleased that a Conservative Government would hold a public inquiry to investigate this case.
“Prior to the dissolution of Parliament, I again wrote to Jeremy Hunt to reiterate my call for an inquiry because of the wider implications this case has on both the private and the public health sector.
“I am pleased that the Health Secretary has now committed to holding an investigation into the circumstances which allowed these crimes to be committed against hundreds of patients and I will continue to work closely with local victims and their families to ensure that we can guarantee greater safeguards for patients in the future.”