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Leading legal firm offers free advice to victims of rouge surgeon Paterson

Following the Mid Staffs Report, women are urged to come forward and speak out.

Lawyers representing over 30 women who received unnecessary breast cancer operations are hosting a drop in clinic for women who may also have been victims of the rogue surgeon Ian Paterson.

Nisha Sharma, a leading Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon, is inviting women to a free clinic on Wednesday 27th February at Slater and Gordon, Birmingham. The clinic will provide an opportunity to discuss what legal options are available, as well as free and confidential advice from an experienced lawyer. Solicitors Rebecca Brown and Emma Doughty will also be on hand to see patients.

Those who believe they may have received inadequate care, not just by Ian Paterson, are asked to come forward and take advantage of the free drop-in legal clinic.

Following the publication of the report on negligent care at Mid Staffordshire Hospital, criticism of a culture of secrecy is being thrown out in favour of transparency.

The Mid Staffordshire inquiry found there existed a defensive culture which preferred secrecy to openness, protecting the Trust’s reputation rather than investigating and learning from patient errors.

There are many similarities between what went on at Mid Staffordshire and Solihull Hospital – defending the Trust’s reputation rather than promoting patient safety. Because Mr Paterson was a popular and influential member of staff there was a reluctance to investigate his poor practices further, and reluctance on the part of staff to speak out. Concerns raised about Mr Paterson's practices in 2004 were not acted upon. The reasons why are still unknown.

In January 2013 it was announced that there would be an independent inquiry about breast care services at Solihull Hospital, specifically about surgical procedures carried out by Mr Ian Paterson. Mr Paterson has now been suspended by the General Medical Council and referred to the police. He could have affected the lives of more than a thousand women as a result of his dubious and unnecessary operations.

During his time at Solihull NHS Hospital as well as two private Spire Healthcare hospitals in Staffordshire Mr Paterson is accused of unnecessarily removing non-cancerous lumps from breasts. He is accused of carrying out a procedure known as a ‘Cleave Sparing Mastectomy’, which was subsequently banned as it was considered unsafe and against guidelines. He is now facing legal action from potentially hundreds of women who have been affected by his actions.

Nisha Sharma, Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon, represents many of Mr Paterson’s victims:

“Recent reports and calls for transparency in our health system are encouraging people to speak out about inadequate care.

“We are inviting women who are worried they have received poor or unnecessary medical care to visit us on Wednesday to get free and confidential advice.

“It’s a chance for victims of Ian Paterson or anyone who has experienced other forms of medical negligence to receive informal legal advice without any obligation or fees.”