Following my previous blogs on this issue, an independent investigation report has been released on the practices of surgeon Ian Stuart Paterson, who is accused of performing inadequate operations on hundreds of NHS breast cancer victims, putting them at risk of a recurrence of their cancer.
Spire Healthcare commissioned the independent report in April 2013, and say that the reason for this was to fully understand the circumstances that enabled Mr Paterson to practise as he did.
Paterson also faces allegations that he performed unnecessary procedures at private hospitals on many more women who didn’t have cancer. He is currently suspended from practice.
Last year it emerged more than 1,000 women under the care of Paterson, from Edgbaston, may have had unregulated ‘cleavage sparing mastectomy’ operations or unnecessary surgery while he worked at Solihull Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and two private facilities run by Spire Healthcare. He carried out the majority of his operations at Solihull hospital after being taken on by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in 1998.
Cleavage sparing mastectomies are not sanctioned in the UK as it could lead to a return of cancer. Invasive breast surgery may have also been performed by Paterson where a biopsy might have been sufficient.
The report is very critical of the lack of follow-up to the many concerns that were raised by a number of sources since 2007. He continued to practise in a way that was unacceptable, performing inappropriate operations until 2011.
The report says that the system of appraisals used for consultants was not being followed and that only 50% of consultants at Little Aston Hospital were compliant.
The MPTS hearing is hoped to take place shortly.