Fund set up for pa­tients of dis­graced sur­geon

Evening Times - - NEWS -

AROUND 750 pri­vate pa­tients treated by dis­graced breast sur­geon Ian Pater­son will re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion from a new £37mil­lion fund.

Spire Health­care, which runs pri­vate hos­pi­tals across the UK, will con­trib­ute £27.2m to the fund, which is in­tended to halt le­gal pro­ceed­ings by pa­tients against the group and ac­count for any new claims.

Around £10m will be pro­vided by co-de­fen­dants in the case in­clud­ing Pater­son’s in­sur­ers.

Glas­gow-born Pater­son was jailed for 20 years af­ter he was found guilty in April at Not­ting­ham Crown Court of 17 counts of wound­ing with in­tent.

Jurors also con­victed him of three fur­ther wound­ing charges.

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

In its state­ment, Spire said the agree­ment was con­di­tional on all par­ties agree­ing, and the court ap­prov­ing, the terms of a for­mal court or­der.

It said the or­der “will con­clude all cur­rent and known claims from pa­tients against Spire Health­care and its co-de­fen­dants, Ian Pater­son and Heart of Eng- land NHS Foun­da­tion Trust”.

“The or­der will also pro­vide for a por­tion of the fund to be set aside to pro­vide com­pen­sa­tion for any for­mer pa­tient of Mr Pater­son who has not yet brought a le­git­i­mate claim against Spire Health­care and the other de­fen­dants but does so prior to 30 Oc­to­ber 2018.”

The agree­ment has been made in con­junc­tion with Pater­son’s in­sur­ers.

Si­mon Gor­don, in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive at Spire, said: “Ear­lier this year a crim­i­nal court de­cided that Ian Pater­son must bear re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions, find­ing him guilty of as­sault­ing a num­ber of his pa­tients.

“He be­haved with clear crim­i­nal in­tent and abused the trust of those who looked to him for his care and re­lied upon his ex­per­tise.

“How­ever, whilst noth­ing di­min­ishes Mr Pater­son’s re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions, these events took place in our hos­pi­tals, and this should not have hap­pened.

“We ac­cept that bet­ter clin­i­cal gover­nance in the pri­vate hos­pi­tals where Mr Pater­son prac­tised, as well as in his NHS trust, might have led to ac­tion be­ing taken sooner, and it is right that we have made a ma­te­rial con­tri­bu­tion to the set­tle­ment an­nounced to­day.

“We have apol­o­gised un­re­servedly to Mr Pater­son’s pa­tients for their suf­fer­ing and dis­tress and we would like to re­peat that apol­ogy. As soon as the crim­i­nal trial ended we were able to start li­ais­ing with claimants’ lawyers to bro­ker a set­tle­ment in­volv­ing all de­fen­dants. This has re­sulted in the agree­ment an­nounced to­day.”

Emma Doughty, a spe­cial­ist med­i­cal neg­li­gence lawyer from Slater and Gor­don, which rep­re­sents more than 100 of Pater­son’s vic­tims, said: “No fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment will ever heal the phys­i­cal and men­tal scars in­flicted on our clients but they are re­lieved that they have fi­nally won their bat­tle for jus­tice.”

The NHS has so far paid more than £17m in com­pen­sa­tion for vic­tims af­ter re­ceiv­ing 277 claims in­volv­ing Pater­son’s NHS prac­tice.

Pa­tients of Ian Pater­son, in­set, will re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion from the fund

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