Government updates its response to the independent inquiry into breast surgeon Ian Paterson
The government has given an update on its response to the Independent Inquiry into the issues raised by the surgeon Ian Paterson.
Posted on 25 March 2021
MP Nadine Dorries made a statement in the House of Commons on Tuesday 23 March detailing updates on five of the 15 recommendations put forward by the inquiry.
Medical negligence solicitor Maria Panteli, who specialises in claims relating to breast surgery and breast cancer, welcomed the updates from the government and stressed the importance of all 15 recommendations being implemented as soon as possible.
Ian Paterson was jailed for 20 years in 2017 after he was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding. This was in relation to numerous surgical procedures carried out between 1997 and 2011 which were found to be inappropriate or unnecessary.
Paterson was employed by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which has since been taken over by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust. He also had practising privileges at private hospitals Spire Parkway in Solihull, and Spire Little Aston in Birmingham.
The report from the independent inquiry looking into the Paterson case was published in February 2020. Nadine Dorries gave updates on Tuesday relating to five recommendations including those relating to: information to patients; consent; multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings; and patient recall and ongoing care for all of Paterson’s patients by the NHS Trust and Spire Healthcare.
Maria Panteli, medical negligence solicitor at Leigh Day, said in particular the recommendations around consent and MDT meetings were positive steps forward. She added:
“I am pleased to see that the government has at least been able to make some progress on some of the recommendations coming from the independent inquiry into Paterson and I hope they will stick to their commitment to respond to the remaining recommendations during 2021.
“In relation to consent the government has stated that the General Medical Council has revised it good practise guide and is working with healthcare providers to implement this across the sector. This is a step in the right direction and we hope that healthcare providers recognise the importance of ensuring patients are able to give properly informed consent.
“It is also clear that the importance of Multidisciplinary Team meetings, particularly in the private healthcare sector, cannot be underestimated as these may have flagged up Paterson’s malpractice sooner. It is encouraging to see that the CQC will be working to ensure these are carried out consistently.
“The report itself concluded that checks and balances put in place since Paterson practised are not uniform across the sector and that it is still possible for poor or unsafe practises to go on undetected. It is therefore imperative that all recommendations are implemented as soon as possible to ensure patient safety.”