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Settlement Fund Agreed For Victims of Ian Paterson

A fund has been agreed to provide settlements for the victims of breast surgeon Ian Paterson, who has been sentenced to jail after performing unnecessary operations.

From 1997 to 2011, rogue surgeon Ian Paterson undertook unnecessary operations and exaggerated the risk of cancer to convince patients to undergo surgery. He performed the operations at NHS and private hospitals across the West Midlands.

In 2012, hundreds of Paterson’s patients were recalled as concern was raised about the necessity of the operations he had performed. Later that year he was suspended by the General Medical Council after allegations he had undertaken cleavage-sparing mastectomies.

He was sentenced to 15 years in jail earlier this year for 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding.

Our medical negligence solicitors have so far represented more than 30 of his victims in civil claims against private provider Spire Healthcare and we’ve already settled many claims relating to operations that Paterson did for the NHS.

Spire Healthcare recently announced that it’s putting aside £27.2m with Paterson’s insurers while the Heart of England NHS Trust will also put £10m towards the fund. Approximately 750 patients are believed to have been affected.

Sallie Booth, a specialist in group litigation and medical negligence at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This fund will provide for the long term costs of therapy and ongoing treatment Mr Paterson’s victims need. Although the settlement helps them try to move forward with their lives, they have to live with what happened to them forever.

“Questions remain over the redress that private healthcare patients have if they’re victims of negligent medical treatment. While Spire has set aside a significant sum, it’s likely to be less than the amount that the patients affected need.

“There are medical negligence victims who have found that indemnity insurance does not cover their private doctor when things have gone wrong. Many people wrongly believe they will be better protected under private care than under the NHS.

“Exactly how much responsibility private hospitals have for the misdeeds of medical practitioners who use their facilities has not yet been determined and we are pleased on behalf of our clients that Spire has today accepted that ‘better’ clinical governance might have led to ‘action being taken sooner’. But that is little comfort for Mr Paterson’s victims.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Group Claims.

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