In April 2017, former breast surgeon Ian Paterson was criminally convicted of multiple counts of wounding with intent at Nottingham Crown Court and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Paterson had been carrying out unnecessary surgical procedures and operations on patients referred to him by private healthcare provider Spire. These included invasive lumpectomies when biopsies would suffice, mastectomies on women who did not have breast cancer and cleavage sparing mastectomies, a procedure not recognised in clinical practice.


A £37 million compensation package was approved by a High Court judge for the hundreds of private patients affected by his actions. This included £27.2 million paid out by Spire Healthcare and £10 million paid by Paterson's insurers and former employers at the Heart of the England NHS Trust.

In 2019, our clinical negligence lawyers, who acted for 650 former patients of Paterson, settled what was thought to be the last of the civil compensation claims for clients against the hospitals involved. 


Thousands of further patients recalled

The Independent Inquiry into Ian Paterson published in February 2020 found that the initial recall process didn’t reach out to all of Paterson’s potential victims.

In December 2020, thousands of additional recall letters were sent to patients treated at Spire Parkway and Spire Little Aston.

In February 2023, Spire announced that upon reviewing historic legacy IT systems, a further 1,500 patients from more than 20 years ago were identified as having possibly received negligent treatment from Paterson. 


A history of our support for Paterson victims

Further funds available to victims

In 2021, a new fund was set up to allow the thousands of further potential victims of the convicted breast surgeon to make compensation claims for the negligence they suffered.

Thompsons’ medical negligence lawyers negotiated the terms of the Paterson Trust in 2017 on conclusion of their successful litigation against Paterson. Thompsons is, once again, using its leading expertise managing Paterson cases to support those who have received a recall letter from Spire. Former patients of Paterson can avoid additional legal fees charged by other solicitors by making a claim directly to the fund.

If you're a former patient of Ian Paterson, contact our leading Paterson experts below.


Timeline of the Paterson case


  • 2011

    Hundreds of cancer survivors in the Birmingham area are advised to seek legal assistance after they were given a 'controversial sparing' mastectomy performed by Ian Paterson.

  • 2012

    Ian Paterson is suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC) in the autumn of 2012 following allegations of widespread medical negligence at a number of private hospitals in Birmingham.

  • 2013

    The NHS report into Ian Paterson reveals an 'embedded culture of the negligence' in the private sector, as Spire Healthcare remains silent about the dealings of Paterson in its hospitals.

  • 2015

    Let down victims of Ian Paterson protest at Spire Hospital in Solihull to voice their anger at Spire's delay in paying compensation.

  • 2017

    Ian Paterson is struck off at a medical practitioners' tribunal service and sentenced to 20 years. 

  • 2018

    Thompsons continues to campaign for private healthcare providers to put patients before profits.

  • 2019

    The Royal College of Surgeons echoes our call for private hospitals to do more to keep patients safe and to stop surgeons from causing anyone harm again.

  • 2019

    The independent inquiry investigating Paterson delays its findings once again, this time due to Brexit and the general election, unnecessarily delaying closure for victims.

  • 2020

    The Independent Inquiry into Ian Paterson publishes its long-awaited report.

  • 2020

    The initial recall process in 2017 was insufficient and left some potential claimants uncontacted. Thousands of additional recall letters are sent to former patients.

  • 2021

    A new fund is announced to compensate thousands of additional victims. Spire puts a substantial sum into the fund to meet these claims.

  • 2023

    Spire Parkway issues a new recall of 1,500 former patients after revisiting historic legacy IT systems which contain information about patients from over 20 years ago. 

Patients Before Profits campaign

We are focused on stopping rogue surgeons like Paterson from harming patients again.

During the investigations into Paterson’s negligence on behalf of our clients, we exposed a number of issues surrounding private healthcare providers, and identified a number of ways in which they are trying to avoid taking responsibility for any problems that emerge from the treatment.

It seems fundamental to us that patient safety should be paramount, whether someone is being treated in a private setting or on the NHS. Our campaign, Patients Before Profits - Justice for Victims of Ian Paterson, will work to ensure that wherever people are treated, the same legal protections and safety standards apply, and procedures will be followed.


Gail Boichat, medical negligence client
Gail Boichat, former patient of Ian Paterson


What do we want to achieve?

The Patients Before Profits - Justice for Victims of Ian Paterson campaign aims to:

  • Expose and eliminate the ‘liability loophole’ in the justice system that exists for private healthcare providers. This has, for too long, allowed them to avoid responsibility for negligent staff working on their premises and keep all of the payments they have received for the treatment regardless of its outcome.
  • Ensure that private healthcare companies are held to the same standards and obligations of transparency, safety and accountability as the NHS.
  • Guarantee that patients are, at all times, put before profit: no healthcare provider should be able to get away with having a patient poorly treated “on their watch” and still be able to profit from that.
  • Secure a legal guarantee that all patients, wherever they are treated, will have the same remedies and opportunity for legal redress should they be injured by anyone else at the treatment centre.
I am disappointed at the way this has been handled by Spire Healthcare and the General Medical Council, who seem to be trying to wipe their hands of it,” she said. “It has made me determined to ensure neither he nor they get away with what has happened. If a hospital is not responsible for ensuring the professionals working on its premises are acting ethically and responsibly, then who is?

Sarah, medical negligence client

About Thompsons Solicitors

Since 1921, Thompsons has successfully helped hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our specialist lawyers act swiftly and compassionately to ensure clients are provided with the upmost support and maximum compensation in the shortest possible time. You can learn more about Thompsons here.