New fund for more potential victims of disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson
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A new fund is being set up for other potential victims of disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson.
Patients who believe they might have been affected are being urged to come forward and seek compensation.
Paterson is serving a 20-year-prison sentence after being found guilty of wounding patients by carrying out unnecessary surgery on men and women.
The surgeon carried out unapproved “cleavage-sparing” mastectomies on patients leaving behind breast tissue and risking a return of cancer.
He carried out breast and general surgery, treating more than 11,000 patients in total.
Last year Spire Healthcare was criticised by an independent inquiry for not doing enough to contact former patients, and the private provider subsequently wrote to at least 5,500 former patients of Paterson.
Thompsons Solicitors, the law firm which previously acted as the lead litigator for victims, said it had been asked to manage the new fund and to represent additional victims of Paterson’s crimes, alongside the law firm Slater and Gordon.
Linda Millband, head of clinical negligence at Thompsons said it is “clear that many more patients had been mistreated by Paterson and deserve to be compensated”.
She added: “It is clear people have been missed and we will be urging anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Ian Paterson, at any time, to come forward and seek compensation for their injuries.”
She said the firm had been “involved in this whole sorry story from the start and are determined to ensure we get the very best outcome for anyone who suffered at Paterson’s hands”.
Paterson was employed by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) – since taken over by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust (UHB) – but also had practising privileges in the independent sector at Spire Parkway, Solihull, and Spire Little Aston in Birmingham.
The new compensation scheme relates only to patients treated by Paterson in a Spire Healthcare hospital.
Cheryl Iommi, a previous recipient of compensation after having three unnecessary lumpectomies performed, urged others who think they might have been victims to come forward.
The 54-year-old, from Birmingham, said she felt the compensation “was about vindication”.
She said: “I would encourage anyone who was a victim of Paterson to seek legal redress, especially with Thompsons. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for the kindness I was shown and what that meant to me after everything he put me through.”
Spire Healthcare said it had provided £22.2m in total, to cover things like costs of contacting people and reviewing cases as well as compensation.
The provider said that, while the compensation scheme will be administered by Slater and Gordon and Thompsons Solicitors, patients of Paterson can approach any law firm to advise them, and to apply to the new scheme on their behalf.
A spokesperson for the provider said: “Patients who suffered at the hands of Ian Paterson must not be prevented from seeking compensation. Spire Healthcare has taken the initiative to collaborate in setting up the new fund so that Patterson’s victims can access appropriate legal expertise.”
In September 2017, more than 750 patients treated by Paterson received compensation pay-outs from a £37 million fund.
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