An introduction to Ian Paterson
Ian Paterson worked at a number of different NHS hospitals and private clinics throughout the Midlands area as a breast surgeon. He treated thousands of patients referred to him from 1994 onwards, who had found lumps in their breasts and were concerned about breast cancer.
Paterson put his patients' lives at risk by using a controversial technique not approved by the Hospital Trust.
The Extent of Malpractice
Ian Paterson, a breast surgeon whose career spanned from 1994 to 2011, committed crimes affecting numerous patients. He performed unregulated "cleavage-sparing" mastectomies, leaving cancerous tissue behind, which led to the recurrence of the disease in many patients.
Additionally, he advised numerous patients that they had pre-cancerous lumps, leading to unnecessary surgeries that caused both physical and mental scarring. He also carried out unnecessary surgery for various veins, hernias and several other medical procedures.
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust employed Paterson – the Trust has since changed its name to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust. Paterson also practised at private hospitals Spire Parkway in Solihull near Coventry and Spire Little Aston in Sutton Coldfield.
In 2017, Ian Paterson was sentenced to a 20-year imprisonment following his conviction on 17 counts of intentional wounding. Over 14 years, he inflicted unnecessary and detrimental surgeries on more than 1,000 patients. In 2024, an inquest into the deaths of over 70 victims of Ian Paterson will commence at Birmingham Coroner’s Court. This is likely to run for at least 12 months.
If you were a patient of Ian Paterson, you might be eligible for compensation. This includes those who underwent unnecessary or inappropriate procedures, treatment, or surgery. To assess your eligibility, please call us or email our team at IanPatersonCases@thompsons.law, who will guide you through the process.
The compensation you may be entitled to varies based on the type of surgery, extent of physical injuries, and emotional distress experienced. Over 750 patients have already received compensation from a £37 million fund established in 2017. A subsequent fund was created in 2021 to provide further compensation, with claims potentially ranging from hundreds to six-figure sums. This fund is still open and will likely remain available to compensate Paterson victims for at least 12 months.
Further funds available for victims
A new fund was set up in 2021 to allow thousands of additional former patients of the surgeon to submit compensation claims, following a patient recall in 2020.
Previously, a sum of £37 million was placed into the Paterson Trust, which was launched following Thompsons' successful litigation against Paterson in 2017. The fund covered compensation claims of the 700 former patients whose cases were managed by the Trust.
Thompsons acted on behalf of 650 of those patients and our medical negligence solicitors are the leading experts in Paterson cases. By using Thompsons Solicitors, patients who have received a recall letter from Spire will avoid additional legal fees. Clients of other law firms will need to pay fees when making a claim.
In February 2023, Spire Parkway issued a new recall of 1,500 former patients, after revisiting historic legacy IT systems, which were in use between 1993 and the early 2000s, and which contained information about patients from over 20 years ago. If you have been contacted by Spire as part of this latest recall, get in touch with our clinical negligence experts today as you may be able to make a compensation claim.
What did Ian Paterson do wrong?
Two main issues with Paterson's work have come to light so far and are detailed below. If you were treated by Paterson and the circumstances of your case are not mentioned below, we may still be able to help you. You can contact us for expert and confidential legal advice.
Cleavage sparing mastectomies
While working at Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospital, Good Hope Hospital, Spire Hospital Parkway and Spire Hospital Little Aston, Paterson performed 'cleavage sparing' mastectomies on breast cancer patients. The technique involved leaving tissue around the cleavage area for cosmetic reasons, but went against national guidelines which state that no excess tissue should be left behind as this could lead to a return of the cancer.
He did not inform his patients that he was doing anything other than following usual procedures and they had no idea that they were at an increased risk of their cancer returning.
Many of the people operated on by Paterson using this controversial technique have had to undergo further surgery to remove the excess tissue and unfortunately some have had their cancer return.
While working on a private basis at The Spire Hospital, Paterson may have performed many unnecessary operations which subjected patients to general anaesthetics and left scarring.
He would examine lumps, sometimes carrying out ultrasounds and mammograms, and then advise patients that they had pre-cancerous lumps which needed to be removed.
However, the lumps were often totally benign and harmless and should have been investigated with a simple biopsy. Some people underwent multiple unnecessary operations.
Support and Resources
We offer comprehensive support resources, including counselling services and patient advocacy groups, to assist you in your journey towards healing and justice.
For the latest updates on the Ian Paterson case and related compensation claims, keep visiting our page. We are committed to providing current and accurate information to help you navigate this challenging situation.
Ready to take the next step? Contact our expert legal team please call us or email our team at IanPatersonCases@thompsons.law, who will guide you through the process. for guidance on your claim. We're here to help you seek justice and compensation for the wrongs you've endured.