Vic­ti­mofNI rogue breast sur­geon tells of re­lief over pay­out deal

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS -

A VIC­TIM of dis­graced North­ern Ire­land breast sur­geon Ian Paterson has told of her re­lief af­ter learn­ing she will re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion.

Around 750 pri­vate pa­tients treated by Paterson — who grew up in Ban­gor — will get a pay­out from a newly agreed £37m fund.

Spire Health­care, which runs pri­vate hos­pi­tals in the West Mid­lands where Paterson worked, will con­trib­ute £27.2m.

A fur­ther £10m will be pro­vided by Paterson’s in­sur­ers and the Heart of Eng­land NHS Foun­da­tion Trust.

One of Paterson’s vic­tims says the news of the pay­out still doesn’t feel real, but she is “happy” now the mat­ter is al­most set­tled. For­mer pub land­lady Carole John­son (65) un­der­went seven un­nec­es­sary op­er­a­tions on Paterson’s ad­vice be­tween 2000 un­til he was sus­pended in 2012.

Mrs John­son, from Shel­don in Birm­ing­ham, said: “I haven’t got a clue how long it’s go­ing to take. I feel pleased that it’s go­ing to be set­tled, but un­til I’ve ac­tu­ally got it, then I don’t know how I’m go­ing to feel.

“It’s been go­ing on for so long now but I do think ‘That’s another hur­dle that we’re over’.”

She added: “I feel happy that we’ve got an end­ing. But un­til it’s been com­pleted, I sup­pose that will be when it’s for real.”

One of Mrs John­son’s op­er­a­tions was so rushed that Paterson did not leave any record of it on the hos­pi­tal’s sys­tems.

“It’s still not real that he did it. There was no need to have those surg­eries done,” she said.

“It’s dev­as­tat­ing. As a vic­tim you can’t have any trust in the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion again.

“It’s a ter­ri­ble feel­ing, to be hon­est.”

Paterson was found guilty in April at Not­ting­ham Crown Court of 17 counts of wound­ing with in­tent, and three fur­ther wound­ing charges.

Mrs John­son was one of the sam­ple of 10 vic­tims that Paterson was pros­e­cuted for.

He was ini­tially sen­tenced to 15 years in jail but this was in­creased to 20 in Au­gust af­ter Court of Ap­peal judges ruled the orig­i­nal sen­tence was too le­nient.

The an­nounce­ment of the new fund is in­tended to halt fur­ther le­gal pro­ceed­ings by pri­vate pa­tients and ac­count for any new claims made be­fore Oc­to­ber 2018.

More than 500 of Paterson’s pri­vate pa­tients had been due to take their case to the High Court next month.

Dur­ing the trial it emerged that Paterson, who treated thou­sands of pa­tients dur­ing his ca­reer, ex­ag­ger­ated or in­vented can­cer risks and claimed pay­ments for more ex­pen­sive pro­ce­dures.

He also car­ried out hundreds of un­nec­es­sary op­er­a­tions on NHS pa­tients.

The NHS has so far paid more than £17m in com­pen­sa­tion and costs for vic­tims.

Fig­ures from NHS Res­o­lu­tion show that as of July 31, it had re­ceived 277 claims in­volv­ing Paterson’s NHS prac­tice and paid a to­tal of £17,411,639 on those.

The Heart of Eng­land NHS Foun­da­tion Trust was also part of the civil ac­tion af­ter ac­cu­sa­tions it failed to no­tify Spire of Paterson’s ques­tion­able and danger­ous prac­tices, dis­cov­ered years ear­lier.

Paterson’s trial heard from nine women and one man who were treated in the pri­vate sec­tor at Lit­tle As­ton and Park­way Hos­pi­tals in the West Mid­lands be­tween 1997 and 2011.

Vic­tims said Paterson’s crimes had left them suf­fer­ing con­stant pain and hundreds claimed they no longer trusted doc­tors be­cause of their ex­pe­ri­ences.

❝ I feel pleased it’s go­ing to be set­tled, but un­til I’ve ac­tu­ally got it, then I don’t know how I’m go­ing to feel

Dis­graced NI-born breast sur­geon Ian Paterson en­ter­ing court dur­ing his trial

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