CAMPAIGNING law firm Thompsons Solicitors, joined by several former Paterson patients who are pursuing legal action against Spire Healthcare, have officially launched their new campaign: Patients Before Profits to avoid private healthcare providers ‘shirking responsibility’.
Linda Millband, national lead lawyer for clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors said: “At last Ian Paterson has been brought to book for the horrendous crimes he committed against his patients, but the injustice continues as the case has highlighted a gaping loophole in the justice system.
“Private healthcare providers like Spire are trying to get away with shirking their responsibility when things go wrong.”
The firm is representing nearly 500 of Paterson’s former patients in a civil case against Spire, due to take place in October.
It claims that while the NHS has paid out compensation to those harmed by Paterson and has taken steps to address the failures which allowed him to practice, Spire Healthcare has dragged its feet, avoided taking responsibility and refused to pay out in equivalent cases arising from treatment by Paterson at their hospitals in the West Midlands.
Ms Millband added: “It really is astonishing that private healthcare providers consider themselves above the law and above the standards followed by the NHS.
“They should be subject to the same levels of transparency, safety and accountability as the NHS but instead private healthcare companies are seeking to take advantage of loopholes around liability.
“They are profiting from mistakes made on their watch.
“With heavy promotion of private healthcare to individuals and with the NHS going through increasing privatisation, it is deeply troubling that private providers can take money from people individually or from their taxes through government contracts, have people harmed on their premises and then walk away from those mistakes.
“We are working with a cohort of experts to undertake a review of the current legal obligations governing private healthcare providers and will publish that later this year.”