Spire Healthcare have set up a new fund to help compensate former patients of jailed Breast Surgeon, Ian Paterson. Paterson, jailed for 20 years in 2017 following a conviction of wounding with intent, is thought to have treated more than 11,000 patients in the private sector. He had been carrying out unregulated ‘cleavage sparing’ mastectomies, leaving women with increased chances of their cancer recurring. He had also been carrying out a raft of unnecessary operations in the private sector, seemingly for financial gain.
After having set up a multi-million pound fund in 2017 to compensate hundreds of his patients who had come forward, Spire have now announced plans to set up a new fund to help compensate any further patients of his who may have been treated.
What did Paterson do?
Paterson was jailed for 20 years after being found guilty of wounding with intent. He had been carrying out botched operations and unnecessary procedures on hundreds of patients across the West Midlands, over more than a decade.
Many of the patients either had cancer or were given a cancer misdiagnosis by Paterson. He also carried out a ‘cleavage sparing’ mastectomy in some cases, leaving behind breast tissue which meant that the disease could come back. In other cases, he carried out unnecessary procedures which patients did not need, apparently for financial reasons within the private sector, where he would be paid more for more complex or detailed surgeries.
Why is a new fund being set up?
A new fund is being set up to help those patients who are now being recalled to obtain compensation. Initially, Spire had selected patients to recall for a review appointment, and based that recall on certain criteria. An independent inquiry, chaired by retired Bishop of Norwich the Rt Revd Graham James, last year recommended that all of Paterson’s 11,000 patients were recalled. Spire have so far contacted around half of these patients. Where the treatment is found to have been negligent, Spire have agreed to provide compensation to these newly-recalled patients.
What if I claimed compensation in the past, from the original fund?
If you’ve already claimed compensation, you will be unable to apply for further compensation from the new fund. The new fund is also designed to allow people to claim the same amount of compensation that they would have received, had they made a claim from the original fund back in 2017/18. So if you have already made a claim, you should be no better or worse off as a result of the new fund being set up.
Am I too late to claim compensation?
Without speaking to you in detail about your case, it’s hard to say. The new fund is, however, designed to allow people to claim compensation even if they may have been out of time for bringing a standard claim for negligence. The best way forward is to speak to one of our lawyers and check what the position is in your case.
What do I do if I have been recalled by Spire Healthcare?
You are likely to have been invited to a recall appointment, and so the best first thing to do is speak to the doctor during your recall appointment. Hopefully, they will be able to explain what’s gone on and what, if anything, went wrong.
The next step is to obtain legal advice. We always recommend obtaining specialist advice, from an experienced solicitor who has expertise in the area of law you need advice on. We have an experienced team of specialist medical negligence solicitors, who understand the sensitive nature of these cases and are here to offer you support and guidance.
Spire Healthcare have set up the fund to allow a limited number of specialist law firms to apply for compensation from the new fund that has been established. Waldrons are one of those specialist firms, due to our past experience of handling claims involving Ian Paterson. We have settled several cases involving treatment provided by Paterson, including claims in respect of both his NHS and private patients. Once you speak to one of the team, they will go about getting the necessary information from you in order to advise you on your options and, if possible, to apply for compensation for you from the new fund.
If you’d like to speak to one of the team, please click here to contact us.