A report by the BBC’s Midlands health correspondent Michele Paduano, suggests that rogue surgeon Ian Paterson may have injured hundreds more people in general surgery as well as the unnecessary breast operations he carried out.
Paterson was jailed in 2017 after carrying out dozens of needless breast surgeries on men and women who were in fact completely free from cancer as well as performing unrecognised cleavage sparing operations on patients who really did have cancer, which meant there was a danger of the cancer coming back, in both the NHS and private practice.
Now it has come to light that Paterson’s malpractice may have extended to general surgical procedures as well as breast surgery. Following the insistence by the official inquiry led by the Bishop of Norwich that all patients treated by the surgeon, for whatever reason, should be reassessed, Spire Healthcare wrote to 1,200 non breast cancer patients treated by Paterson, although it stresses that not all of them would have come to harm.
In total, about 5,500 patients were recalled by Spire Healthcare, some of whom did not previously know their surgery had been unnecessary, while 750 victims have already been awarded compensation. Paduano claimed that only about 33% of those recalls related to breast surgery – nearly 4,000 were not and a further 3,000 non-breast patients face a recall in the NHS, not to mention the seven inquests ongoing where Paterson’s malpractice may have contributed to an untimely death.
Spire Healthcare, who gave Paterson practicing privileges at two of their private hospitals, proposed a new compensation fund for further victims and released solicitors who had previously acted for his victims from an undertaking not to take on any further cases.
One of those non-breast surgery patients contacted by Spire and featured in the BBC report was Mr Craig Timmins. He is now a Shoosmiths client represented by medical negligence expert Kashmir Uppal, who is also helping many others who have come forward with a similar story to tell, including a woman who had three completely unnecessary hernia operations.
Mr Timmins was referred to Paterson by his GP in 1995 with a suspected hernia. An initial operation by Paterson was carried out, but later reviews found the surgical technique used was not appropriate, requiring further surgical interventions and now Mr Timmins and his wife are left wondering if their inability to have children could have been a consequence of Paterson’s botched surgery.
Kashmir Uppal said:
“We know that the criminal trial related to breast surgery cases only. These general surgery cases, many of which have had equally devastating consequences, were not considered. So in addition to the civil cases, perhaps we should we be looking at further criminal charges in relation to all these unnecessary or sub-standard general surgery procedures that he carried out?”