Fight goes on two years on from 'butcher' breast surgeon Ian Paterson's conviction - The Solihull Observer

Fight goes on two years on from 'butcher' breast surgeon Ian Paterson's conviction

Solihull Editorial 2nd May, 2019   0

CALLS continue for better patient protection on the two-year anniversary of the conviction of disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson.

Paterson was found guilty of multiple counts of wounding with intent on April 28, 2017 at Nottingham Crown Court and was jailed for 20 years.

Paterson, whose victims run into the hundreds, worked at hospitals run by the then Heart of England NHS Trust and also practised privately at Bupa hospitals in Solihull and Sutton Coldfield, latterly run by Spire Healthcare.

An independent inquiry is underway and is chaired by the Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, following a pledge by the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt in which he committed to hold a ‘comprehensive and focused inquiry’.

Kashmir Uppal, of Access Legal – a lawyer who represented Paterson’s clients in seeking justice – said: “I don’t think the full extent of Paterson’s crimes will ever be known as victims are still coming forward and that is reflected in the fact that the inquiry process is taking longer than originally expected.

“However, having given evidence to the inquiry myself, I am hopeful that the final report will provide answers and also recommendations for better patient protection in both the NHS and the private health care sector.

“The victims of Paterson’s crimes deserve, as a bare minimum, for those recommendations to then be implemented which should include tighter regulation and greater clinical governance, otherwise the conviction two years ago will have achieved little more than removing him from the medical profession, which will not stop this from happening again.”

Linda Millband, national lead lawyer for clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “As we mark two years since Mr Paterson’s conviction, nothing has changed.

“Earlier this month we were heartened when the Royal College of Surgeons echoed our calls for independent hospitals to report the same patient safety and outcomes data as the NHS.

“Yet from the Department of Health there has been a wall of silence. It’s time the government listened and took decisive action to ensure parity wherever a patient is treated if we are to ensure history does not repeat itself.

“The gaping loophole in our health system that the Paterson case highlighted has not yet been closed.”

Thompson Solicitors says that while the NHS paid out compensation to those harmed by Paterson and took steps to address the failures that allowed him to practise, Spire Healthcare, the private healthcare provider responsible for two of the hospitals Mr Paterson operated from, initially dragged its feet.

Ms Millband said: “No healthcare provider should be able to get away with having a patient poorly treated ‘on their watch’ but still be able to profit from that.

“Spire Healthcare will have made a great deal of money by allowing Ian Paterson to practice at their hospitals and they – along with all other private healthcare providers – should be held to the same standards and obligations of transparency, safety and accountability as the NHS.

“Patients need, and deserve, a legal guarantee that, regardless of where they are treated in the UK, if they are injured they will have the same remedies and opportunity for legal redress.”


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