Maimed patients ‘will be at heart’ of inquiry into jailed surgeon Scope of major independent probe into health scandal that rocked West Midlands is revealed
THE victims of convicted ‘butcher’ surgeon Ian Paterson will be ‘at the heart’ of the independent inquiry into his practice, officials have pledged.
The disgraced breast surgeon, who was jailed last year, carried out hundreds of botched procedures and unnecessary operations, with countless patients falsely believing they had cancer.
Paterson, who worked at Solihull Hospital and at the privately-run Spire hospitals in Little Aston and Solihull, was convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding.
More than 670 of around 1,200 of his former NHS patients who underwent mastectomies have now died.
Now the independent inquiry into his malpractice have published the terms of reference, which sets out the scope of their investigation.
The team, headed by the Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norfolk, have met with more than 150 former patients face to face since it launched in January.
Mr James said: “The interests of all patients, whether they are treated in the NHS or the private sector, should be at the heart of this inquiry. I thank everyone who has shared the issues they would like the inquiry to consider in finalising the complete terms of reference.”
The inquiry team said the main focus of their report will be to allow former patients and their families to have their voices heard.
It will also consider and compare accountability and responsibility of safety and quality of care in both the NHS and private sector, and how information is shared between the two.
It will also look at the role of private insurers and medical indemnity cover for healthcare professionals.
Previously, Paterson’s insurance company refused to pay out compensation to private patients as it claimed his operations were not covered by the terms of insurance.
Using Paterson as a case study, the inquiry will also review the adequacy of systems in responding to incidents, including the recall of patients.
The inquiry expected to make its report to the Secretary of State f o r is Health by summer 2019, which will include its conclusions and recommendations. The team also stated that if it was to come across any evidence of ‘collusion or other conduct of concern’, this would be reported to the relevant employer or even to the police. The Bishop previously told the Post: “One or two people have said to me ‘Well it’s only one rogue practitioner’. It’s extraordinary that you can even say that when it’s been going on for so many years, and so many people are affected. “What has happened has caused pain and grief and anguish and death on a huge and significant scale. We do something about the central figure but, of course, he wasn’t entirely isolated from everyone else. “We need to treasure the memories of those who have died,” said the Mr James. “But we also need to make certain that there is a restoration of trust and justice – and those are the reasons behind this inquiry.” To see the full terms of reference go to www.pate r s o ni nqui r y . o r g . uk
> Ian Paterson was convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding
> Inquiry head Right Reverend Graham James