BOROUGH MP Caroline Spelman has called for better legislation to protect victims of negligent medical treatment in the wake of the Ian Paterson breast surgery controversy.
Paterson carried out over a thousand negligent – and in some cases unnecessary – surgeries on borough women at Solihull Hospital and the private Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull.
His controversial technique left those women who did have cancer with a greater chance of it returning and even carried out procedures on women who didn’t even have the disease.
Many of the negligence claims have been settled, but Paterson’s medical insurance did not cover him for many of the outstanding cases – leaving the women facing yet more distress in the form of an agonising wait for compensation.
And it is these victims who have inspired Conservative MP Mrs Spelman to present a petition to the House of Commons.
She said: “In recent months it has come to light that, more than 1,000 women allegedly underwent inappropriate breast cancer surgery, and while many NHS patients have already been compensated, those treated in the private sector have been caught up in protracted litigation during which time some have sadly passed away’.
“For that reason, I am pleased to have been able to present to the House of Commons a petition on their behalf, calling upon MPs to consider adopting legislation so that insurance companies must provide affordable cover for every aspect of healthcare professionals’ work – including where it is found to be negligent and, to ask that all healthcare professionals under investigation for negligence should be suspended from working in either the NHS or the private sector until disciplinary procedures have concluded satisfactorily.”
The petition, presented on the floor of the House of Commons, read as follows:
“The petition of residents of the UK, declares that private healthcare patients have less access to adequate redress and compensation following negligent treatment in comparison to NHS patients; further that insurance companies can withdraw cover from healthcare professionals who are alleged to have breached the terms of the insurance policy; and further that healthcare professionals under investigation for negligence should not be able to work in either the NHS or the private sector until disciplinary proceedings have concluded to the satisfaction of the General Medical Council and patient, or patients concerns, and, in the case of fatalities, the patients’ families.
“The petitioners therefore ask the House of Commons to legislate to require insurance companies to provide affordable cover for every aspect of healthcare professionals work including cases where the work was found to be negligent, and for all healthcare professionals under investigation for negligence to be suspended until the complaint has been fully resolved.”