One year on since disgraced surgeon Ian Paterson was sentenced to 20 years in prison for intentionally wounding patients, Spire, the private hospital that employed Paterson, is being accused of failing to perform a robust review into his behaviour.

Deborah Douglas was a patient of Ian Paterson’s and endured seven months of unnecessary chemotherapy. She also underwent surgery by Mr Paterson to have gallstones removed, only to be told at a later date by a doctor that she never had gallstones.

Spire Hospital has claimed that its review and recall of Ian Paterson’s patients has been robust, however Ms Douglas, who was legally represented by Thompsons Solicitors during Ian Paterson’s trial, has told the Birmingham Mail that she was not properly informed about the recall.

She only found out about the review and recall by accident after another surgeon independently gave a talk at the Breast Friends Solihull meeting, the support group that Deborah chairs for those suffering with breast cancer.

When Deborah finally managed to get an appointment to discuss her treatment with Spire, she was informed that half her notes had gone missing.

Spire’s treatment of Deborah Douglas is not an isolated case.

Linda Millband, lead national lawyer for medical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors, who has been shortlisted by the Law Society for its ‘Solicitor of the Year’ award after securing compensation for over 500 Paterson victims, said: “We have clients who have been missed from Spire’s recall or had their notes lost. At least one client has had her yearly check-ups stopped by Spire meaning the NHS has had to pick up the tab. Sadly this comes as no surprise given Spire’s lamentable treatment of Paterson’s patients over the years and given the current law allows private healthcare companies to operate entirely differently and in our view inadequately from the NHS when things go wrong. 

“The Health Secretary needs to ensure without delay that patients are put before profits and that Spire and any other private healthcare provider is held to the same standards and obligations of transparency, safety and accountability as the NHS.”

Thompsons Solicitors’ Patients Before Profits campaign aims to ensure that wherever people are treated, the same legal protections and safety standards apply and that procedures will be followed.

Learn how you can show your support for the campaign.