Paterson victims raise concerns over ‘failure to act on findings’ - The Solihull Observer

Paterson victims raise concerns over ‘failure to act on findings’

Solihull Editorial 5th Feb, 2021   0

VICTIMS of convicted breast surgeon Ian Paterson have raised concerns over recommendations from the inquiry not being introduced a year after they were published.

Last February the Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, published the findings of an independent inquiry into malpractice by Paterson.

More than 100 patients were at the heart of the inquiry, which was promised by the Health Secretary.

In 2017, Paterson was sentenced to 20 years in jail after being convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against ten patients.

The consultant breast surgeon, whose victims run into the hundreds, worked at hospitals run by the Heart of England NHS Trust (HEFT) and also practiced privately at Bupa hospitals in Solihull and Sutton Coldfield, latterly run by Spire Healthcare.

The report gave 15 recommendations that addressed issues including patient safety right across the healthcare sector.

Sarah Jane Downing, the founder of the support group for Paterson’s private patients, said: “The recommendations addressed many of the issues that had made it so easy for Ian Paterson to wrongfully and unnecessarily operate on thousands of us.

“Sadly, one year on, we have had very little success in getting any of the recommendations implemented at all – promises and assurances have been made, but we have yet to see real results.”

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has not yet published its response to the inquiry or the recommendations but it is expected to do so shortly.

Kashmir Uppal, of Shoosmiths LLP– who has represented Paterson’s clients in seeking justice – said: “I am concerned that the response and the proposals may not fill all the gaps which allowed Paterson to harm vulnerable patients for so many years, as the representatives from the patient groups have been excluded from the Board which has instead chosen to include Macmillan Cancer Support and Breast Cancer Now charites.

“Whilst these charites should rightfully be at the table, so should those groups who went through the ordeal as they can add real value to ensure protection of patient safety both in the NHS and private sector moving forwards.”

Linda Millband, at Thompsons Solicitors, who ran the case against Paterson, said: “Paterson took advantage of a system that was open to abuse.

“The pandemic has led to enough heartache and death and cannot be used as an excuse to cause yet more through a failure to implement very clear recommendations now 12 months old.

“Without fundamental reforms, suggested by an Independent Inquiry, we face the very real prospect of history repeating itself.”

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