Woman Operated On As A Teenager Reveal Concerns Over Treatment
More patients of disgraced surgeon Ian Paterson – who was jailed in 2017 following reviews of his treatment - have spoken of their concern after receiving letters in May 2020 offering a review of their care.
Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have been contacted by worried patients who years previously underwent breast operations. However, it was established that they had non-cancerous growths.
They include a woman who had a lump removed as a 17-year-old.
Paterson performed surgery on a woman at Solihull Hospital, which at the time was part of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. It is now part of University Birmingham Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The women, mainly from Birmingham, recently received letters following the publication of a long-awaited report into the conduct of Paterson, who was jailed for 20 years in 2017.
Irwin Mitchell has previously secured settlements for dozens of those who received sub-standard or unnecessary operations at the hands of Paterson.
Expert Opinion“While Paterson may be behind bars, once again his actions are causing immense worry among his patients.
“For years the women who recently contacted us were unaware that they could be caught up in this scandal. These out of the blue letters inviting them for a review of their care has come as a great surprise to these women.
“They have now asked us to investigate their care in further detail and support them in obtaining all the answers they deserve.
“Previous well documented issues around Paterson and other rogue surgeons clearly highlight the need for change.” Tim Annett - Partner
The Paterson Inquiry, launched in May 2018, earlier this year published 15 recommendations after hearing 181 first-hand accounts from the surgeon’s former patients. These included a recall of all patients.
Inquiry chairman the Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, also called for the government to introduce reforms, including regulation of insurance protection for patients as a “nationwide safety net.”
A single place where patients can access and easily understand key performance data of consultants should also be created.
Among those to recently contact Irwin Mitchell is a woman had a lump removed from her right breast by Paterson in 2010 as a 17-year-old.
She said that she agreed to the operation which was carried out at Solihull Hospital after being told there was a small risk the lump was cancerous. The procedure left a large scar.
The mum-of-two, from Birmingham, recently received a letter inviting her for a review of her care.
A subsequent letter from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said an independent breast surgeon, who reviewed the woman’s care, found that the ‘gold standard’ of assessment – which comprises of an examination, ultrasound and biopsy – was not carried out. No biopsy was conducted before surgery to remove the lump.
The letter added that if the woman had undergone a biopsy it would have shown a benign tumour and she could have chosen not to have surgery.
The now 27-year-old, who doesn’t want to be named, said: “Going through the whole process as a teenager was particularly hard. I was basically just a child and had no reason to question anything I was told.
“I just tried to move on with life and when everything about Paterson was blowing up I had no reason to believe it could affect me. I was never contacted.
“Now to suddenly receive a letter after 10 years inviting me for my case to be reviewed is very worrying.
“What happened is a real concern. I have so many questions about what happened to me and whether it was necessary. I just feel I deserve some answers regarding everything that I’ve been through.”
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