20th Sep, 2020

Paterson inquiry: Bishop leading investigation listens to victims

Sarah Mason 15th Feb, 2018 Updated: 15th Feb, 2018

THE BISHOP leading the inquiry into shamed surgeon Ian Paterson met with victims to listen to some of their stories.

He also told them about the next steps for the inquiry.

Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norfolk, saw dozens of former patients at the Greswolde Hotel in Knowle on Friday (February 9) with Secretary of the Inquiry Rebecca Chaloner, to discuss its parameters.

Victims urged Rt Rev James to interview the surgeon’s colleagues at hospitals, including the Spire hospitals in Solihull and Little Aston, to enquire about whether they failed to raise concerns, and other concerns.

The founder of the support group for Paterson’s private patients, Sarah Jane Downing, said people wanted to know if they would have the opportunity to speak out about what happened to them personally.

She added: “The criminal trial focused on some of Paterson’s victims but there were many more people affected than those whose cases were heard during criminal proceedings.

“We asked if everyone, who wanted to, would be able to have their say to see if there was a pattern to what happened with patients.

“There were also questions about whether former colleagues of Paterson would be compelled to give evidence.”

As the inquiry is non-statutory, the team does not have the power to subpoena witnesses.

At the event, it was said the team would do all it could to urge witnesses to attend.

In April last year Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and sentenced to jail for 20 years.

He was a consultant breast surgeon employed by the Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust, and practised privately at Spire Parkway and Spire Little Aston hospitals.

The Rt Revd Graham James said: “I am committed that the interests of all patients are at the heart of this Inquiry.

“We want to hear about the issues former patients of Ian Paterson and their families would like the Inquiry to consider, before its detailed terms of reference are finalised.

“At this stage we will not be able to take detailed evidence about what happened and what needs to change. There will be opportunities later for that to happen.

“We are asking former patients of Ian Paterson and relatives of patients who have died to get in touch with us, to draw our attention to issues they believe should be included in the complete terms of reference.”

The government had announced the inquiry would be informed by patients of Ian Paterson and their families, and would be likely to consider:

* the responsibility for the quality of care in the independent sector; appraisal and ensuring validation of staff in the independent sector and the safety of multidisciplinary working;

* information sharing, reporting of activity and raising concerns between the independent sector and the NHS; and

* the role of insurers of independent sector healthcare providers (including sharing of data), and arrangements for indemnity cover for clinicians in the independent sector.

The Inquiry will consider issues raised in previous reports about Paterson but is not intended to revisit existing evidence, including the evidence that led to his conviction.

People can get in touch with the Inquiry though its website, www.patersoninquiry.org.uk by calling 0207 972 1295 or by emailing enquiries@patersoninquiry.org.uk

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