One of the UK’s largest private hospital chains, Spire Healthcare, has announced its intention to join the stock market.

According to Spire, the flotation, expected to take place in July this year, will enable the healthcare chain to "capitalise on the rapidly growing private healthcare market."

The NHS currently spends around £5bn on private health care and this figure is expected to increase substantially under the current government.

Spire’s plans to exploit public sector contracts, and attract more patients, is a concern for Thompsons Solicitors given the experience of hundreds of clients who were private patients of disgraced surgeon, Ian Paterson.

Mr Paterson performed the controversial and dangerous cleavage sparing technique, at Spire hospitals across the Midlands. And Spire have consistently failed to deal or delayed in dealing with their culpability for those operations.

Specialist clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Birmingham office, Linda Millband commented: “At Thompsons, we have hundreds of male and female clients who were negligently treated by Ian Paterson at Spire hospitals.

“The actions of one doctor are not necessarily representative of an entire hospital group but Spire's handling of the fall out has been lamentable and suggests a lack of rigorous management and procedures. Taken with a failure to act at the time on concerns raised by his peers about Mr Paterson's continuous breaches of national guidelines that risked his patients’ health and Spire has been found wanting.

“Spire admits that this plan is to allow them access to greater amounts of capital, to increase their client base and access further NHS referrals.

"Approximately 25% of Spire's patients already come from the NHS and will have made their contribution to Spire's profits In 2013 of £99m. From our experience, increased NHS outsourcing could be to the detriment of patient safety.”