The ‘cleavage sparing’ mastectomy is a technique used by the surgeon Mr Ian Paterson.

The procedure leaves tissue around the cleavage for cosmetic reasons. The technique goes against national guidelines which state that surgery should not leave excess tissue as it could increase the risk of the cancer returning.

A meeting of the NHS Litigation Authority has revealed that 400 patients have been recalled for medical review.

At what hospitals was this procedure carried out?

If you were treated in one of the following hospitals, or if you were treated elsewhere by Mr Paterson you may have been affected:

• Heartlands Hospital
• Solihull Hospital
• Good Hope Hospital
• Spire Hospital Parkway
• Spire Hospital Little Aston

Investigation by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

A review by the Trust found that Mr Paterson had been using a different technique to those used by other surgeons in the hospitals within the Trust. In addition it is reported that the surgeon had not followed the hospital’s guidelines for introducing a new technique. The technique has been questioned by colleagues.

Solihull Hospital have stated that Mr Paterson stopped using the technique in 2007 on the request of the Hospital Trust. They also say that the surgeon is currently excluded from the Trust.

I think I have been affected – what should I do?

Contact the hospital where you had your surgery and request a medical review with an alternative surgeon. You should do this even if you have been discharged.

The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust can be contacted on 0121 424 5473 between 9am and 12pm, Monday to Friday.

The Spire Hospitals have set up a helpline: 0800 044 3134.

Finding help and support

There are a number of charities that offer help and support to those affected by cancer.

• Cancer Research UK
CancerHelp UK helpline: 0808 800 4040

• Macmillan Cancer Care
Macmillan Support Line: 0808 808 0000

• Breast Cancer Care
Breast Cancer Care helpline: 0808 800 6000

• Health Talk Online

If you wish to pursue a compensation claim

If you have been treated by Mr Paterson you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Claims for clinical negligence are complicated and you should seek advice from a specialist lawyer.

There are strict time limits in place to make any compensation claim. Generally speaking, the sooner you seek advice the better. Further details can be found in our booklet Clinical Negligence: An introduction to claiming compensation.

About Thompsons Solicitors

Thompsons Solicitors were established 90 years ago, act only for claimants, never insurers and are experts in claims for clinical negligence.

We are currently acting for a number of breast cancer survivors who were given the procedure by Ian Paterson at Solihull Hospital, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and the Spire Hospitals in Sutton Coldfield and Solihull.

Our specialist clinical negligence lawyers will be happy to talk you through the process of making a claim in plain English and advise you as to whether or not you have a valid claim for compensation. We will be happy to answer any questions or queries you may have, under no obligation.

For further information call

08000 224 224 (free from landlines)

0330 123 1230 (free from mobiles where covered by inclusive minutes)

Or complete one of our online personal injury compensation claim forms.

Thompsons Solicitors is a trading name of Thompsons Solicitors LLP which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

January 2012