The Injury Lawyers are investigating the issues surrounding Paterson’s convictions, and any victims who need our expert legal advice are welcome to approach us for help
Former renowned breast surgeon Ian Paterson was stripped of his title after he reportedly performed botched surgeries on potentially thousands of patients.
Following on from almost 10 years of investigations into his misconduct, Paterson was convicted late last month of causing harm with intent in numerous cases. Paterson was found to have performed unnecessary surgery and increased risks of cancer in some cases, and hundreds of patients are now coming forward to seek legal advice.
To give you a bit of background, in 2012 Paterson was suspended from medical practice by the General Medical Council (GMC) after he was found to be performing “cleavage sparing mastectomy” (CSM) and “shaves after mastectomy” on his patients in both the NHS and private healthcare (Spire HealthCare). A normal mastectomy will remove around 98% of the patient’s breast tissue to reduce the risk of cancerous tissue, but Paterson was reportedly not removing a large portion of tissue, meaning his patients were at a higher risk of relapse.
Paterson was also advising patients that they had cancerous tissues present needed surgery, when in actual fact they didn’t.
Distress, harm, and disfigurement
Paterson caused unnecessary distress, harm and disfigurements to numerous patients. Every member of the medical profession has a duty of care and must follow a code of conduct to protect patients from harm, which Paterson failed to do.
His employers can be equally liable for his actions as well. It took nearly 10 years for the NHS and Spire HealthCare to recognise the misconduct and take action. Records indicate that the Heart of England Trust was notified of concerns about Paterson’s work as far back as 2003, but they failed to take any action until 2011. Significant movements were not made until the story broke in the media, which is very worrying.
The Guardian spoke to one of Paterson’s former patients Elaine Diskin, who was operated on 8 times by the convicted former surgeon. Many of his patients noted his brilliant “bedside manner”, with Mrs Diskin saying:
“He was so lovely, I thought I was so lucky. I thought I was being looked after.”
Mrs Diskin was one of Paterson’s private patients and paid a hefty amount of money to be operated on by Paterson. She told the Guardian:
“We used to joke that we’d paid for his skiing holidays.”
Mrs Diskin’s husband was also operated on by Paterson after he experienced pain in his chest and Paterson assured Mr Diskin that he should operate on it right away, describing the pain as a lipoma. The family were so impressed by the level of Paterson’s care that they even recommended him to a friend, who also underwent surgery.
However, after the GMC was alerted to claims from patients in 2010, they began to recall all of Paterson’s patients. As a result, in 2012, the Diskin’s were called in for a review and they were notified that one out of eight of Mrs Diskin’s surgeries was necessary, and that Mr Diskin and their friend should also not have been operated on.
Start your claim
As more and more people come forward with claims against both Paterson and the responsible healthcare bodies, we’re urging anyone with concerns or confirmation of negligent treatment to come forward and instruct our Medical Negligence Team.
Although we cannot turn back the clock and correct Paterso’s mistakes, we can help you to recover financial compensation for the medical negligence you have suffered. Surgery is a distressing ordeal anyway without the added pressure of a deadly disease. Clearly, Paterson knew what he was doing, and failed to notify his patients that they didn’t actually need surgery, or were not at risk of cancer.
The NHS has paid out nearly £10 million in compensation so far in relation to over 250 cases. To start your No Win, No Fee claim today, get in contact with one of our experienced Injury Lawyers who specialise in medical negligence, and we’ll do all we can to help you.