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Some Ian Paterson Claims May Not be Heard Until 2017

A High Court ruling to delay the hearing of claims against suspended surgeon Ian Paterson means many former breast cancer patients may have to wait until 2017 to have their cases heard.

Dr Ian Paterson was a consultant breast surgeon who worked at the Solihull Hospital and two Spire private hospitals. He was suspended from working as a doctor by the General Medical Council in 2012 pending investigation into his breast surgery practices.

The main issues with Mr Paterson’s practices were that for more than 15 years he negligently treated hundreds of women, performing incomplete or ‘Cleavage Sparing Mastectomies’ (CSM), as well as unnecessary breast, colorectal, vascular and general surgery.

Paterson pioneered the untested and controversial cleavage sparing operations on hundreds of women in the West Midlands in which breast tissue was left behind purely for cosmetic reasons - significantly increasing the chances of their breast cancer returning.

Compensation claims are currently being pursued by a number of patients who underwent surgery by Paterson at two private hospitals and several NHS hospitals in the Midlands.

Although some claims against Paterson, Spire Healthcare Ltd and the Heart of England NHS Trust have now been settled, it emerged last week that seven leading claims, two of which Slater and Gordon are handling, will not be heard until January 2017. This means that some patients who now have secondary cancer may not live to see justice served.

The lead cases will deal with a range of issues, including whether Spire Healthcare Limited and Heart of England NHS Trust can be held legally accountable for Mr Paterson’s treatment in the private sector.

Many of our clients underwent negligent cleavage sparing mastectomies or unnecessary lumpectomy procedures by Mr Paterson. We also have clients who underwent other types of unnecessary general surgery at his hands, for example varicose veins and colorectal surgeries.

Paterson has caused unimaginable harm to the lives of his victims and it is incredibly sad and frustrating that some of them may now succumb to secondary cancer before the lead cases are heard. It is currently planned that the lead cases will be heard in February and March 2017, but it could be later.

Nisha Sharma is a senior clinical negligence solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.

The medical negligence solicitors at Slater and Gordon have won significant awards for patients who have been wrongly diagnosed with breast cancer and who have had breast tissue removed unnecessarily.

For a free consultation call our clinical and medical negligence solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9049 or start your compensation claim online and we'll call you.

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