Spire Healthcare criticised for distress caused by controversial surgeon Ian Paterson
Private health group Spire has apologised to patients who may have suffered during treatment by controversial surgeon Ian Paterson at its hospitals in Little Aston and Solihull.
The group said it welcomed the findings of a report by independent consultancy Verita after concerns were raised over the work of consultant surgeon Mr Paterson.
The report was commissioned in April 2013 following a separate NHS review into Mr Paterson’s work on breast cancer patients. He performed partial mastectomies on many women, leaving tissue behind, which left them at risk the disease would return.
The detailed report accused Spire of failing to monitor Mr Paterson’s work and criticised its handling of complaints among a total of 15 hard-hitting recommendations to its future procedures. It also said that Spire should review its arrangements for recalling Mr Paterson’s remaining patients as quickly as possible to investigate which of the surgeon’s breast and non-breast patients have had inappropriate or unnecessary surgery.
Up to 400 patients seen by Mr Paterson through his NHS work and duties at Spire are said to be suing for damages. The surgeon has also been suspended by the General Medical Council.
Verita analysed over 5,500 pages of documents and conducted interviews, with patients, senior Spire and NHS managers, fellow consultants and GPs who referred woman to the surgeon. Mr Paterson refused an opportunity to contribute to the investigation.
Spire said it was committed to “making sure lessons were learned and that the situation could never happen again.”
Rob Roger, chief executive of Spire Healthcare, said: “We give a full and unreserved apology to all of the patients and their families for any distress they have suffered as a result of their treatment by Mr Paterson while he was a surgeon at the Spire Parkway and Little Aston hospitals. I would also like to apologise to the professionals who raised concerns at the time Mr Paterson was practising. Verita’s independent Report makes for difficult reading and we intend to learn from this incident. This has been a challenging situation for everyone involved, and we will continue to ensure our patients affected by this are cared for. I know there are some patients who feel our recall process should be improved and I wish to emphasise that we are looking at our process now to further improve this.”
If any patient has immediate concerns they should call the group’s dedicated phone line, 0800 044 3134, where they can arrange to speak to medical staff.