Daily Mail

Missed chances to stop breast can­cer butcher

9 women warned jailed sur­geon’s col­leagues about him, tri­bunal told

- By Liz Hull

DIS­GRACED breast can­cer sur­geon Ian Pater­son was free to butcher pa­tients de­spite se­ri­ous con­cerns be­ing flagged to his NHS bosses by at least nine women a decade be­fore he was jailed, it emerged yes­ter­day.

Is­sues were raised as early as 2004, and by 2007, se­nior col­leagues at the Heart of Eng­land NHS Foun­da­tion Trust in Birm­ing­ham, where Pater­son worked, were aware of nine re­ports of pa­tients suf­fer­ing botched treat­ments.

De­spite this, by 2010 only one case had been re­ported to the Gen­eral Med­i­cal Coun­cil (GMC) for in­ves­ti­ga­tion and Pater­son, 62, was al­lowed to con­tinue work­ing. A tri­bunal in Manch­ester heard that five fur­ther re­views of his con­duct were held in se­cret at the GMC be­fore Pater­son was fi­nally sus­pended from med­i­cal prac­tise in 2012 fol­low­ing com­plaints from 30 pa­tients.

In April 2017, he was jailed for 15 years after be­ing con­victed at Not­ting­ham Crown Court of 17 counts of wound­ing with in­tent and three counts of un­law­ful wound­ing. The sen­tence was later in­creased to 20 years.

Fresh de­tails of the scan­dal emerged at a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing of the Med­i­cal Prac­ti­tion­ers Tri­bunal Ser­vice, where two se­nior doc­tors who are ac­cused of fail­ing to stop Pater­son be­gan a legal bat­tle to save their ca­reers.

Mark Gold­man and Ian Cunliffe face be­ing struck off if found guilty of mis­con­duct at a fit­ness to prac­tise hear­ing next year. They were

‘Har­row­ing ac­tions of phys­i­cal trauma’

re­ferred to the GMC fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion which con­cluded that a cul­ture of ‘de­nial’ at the NHS Trust en­abled Pater­son to per­form more than 1,000 botched or un­nec­es­sary op­er­a­tions.

Mr Gold­man quit as the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the trust with a £2.7 mil­lion pen­sion pot in 2010 just three months be­fore news emerged of a re­call of Pater­son’s pa­tients. Mr Cunliffe, a for­mer med­i­cal di­rec­tor at the trust, was ac­cused of at­tempt­ing to block the re­call.

Pater­son car­ried out ‘ex­per­i­men­tal mas­tec­tomies’ on more than 1,200 women in which he failed to re­move all the breast tis­sue.

It meant the dis­ease re­turned and an in­quiry found that by 2017, 675 of Pater­son’s pa­tients had died.

Oth­ers had surgery they did not need, with some find­ing out years later they did not have can­cer.

Nick Clarke QC, for the GMC, said: ‘We are deal­ing here with the very har­row­ing ac­tions of phys­i­cal trauma that was in­flicted by a sur­geon.

‘But the fit­ness to prac­tise hear­ing will be deal­ing with not pa­tients’ com­plaints in this case – but with pro­fes­sional con­cerns about what was go­ing on and about steps that should have been taken to stop what was hap­pen­ing in order to pro­tect pa­tient safety.’

Mr Gold­man and Mr Cunliffe face var­i­ous mis­con­duct charges, in­clud­ing fail­ures to re­spond in a ‘timely man­ner’ to con­cerns about Pater­son, fail­ing to stop him from per­form­ing surgery, and fail­ing to no­tify the GMC of con­cerns about the sur­geon.

The hear­ing or­dered the GMC and the doc­tors’ lawyers to dis­close legal doc­u­ments ahead of a full dis­ci­plinary hear­ing next year.

 ??  ?? Jailed for 20 years: Ian Pater­son
Jailed for 20 years: Ian Pater­son
 ??  ?? Hear­ing: Cunliffe and Gold­man
Hear­ing: Cunliffe and Gold­man
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