NHS pays £17.4m to disfigured victims of rogue Scots surgeon

The NHS has paid more than £17 million in compensation to '¨victims of rogue surgeon Ian Paterson.

Glasgow-born surgeon Ian Paterson had five years added to his sentence for his crimes last week. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

NHS Resolution said, as of 31 July, it had received 277 claims involving Glasgow-born Paterson’s NHS practice and paid £17,411,639 in total on those cases.

The figure, reported in the Health Service Journal, may increase as private patients have launched a legal bid against the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, private health 
provider Spire Healthcare and Paterson.

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Spire said the trust has to “explain its delay in informing the private sector of its concerns, allowing Ian Paterson to go on treating (and harming) private patients”.

Last week the surgeon, who 
carried out unnecessary breast operations leaving victims scarred and disfigured, had five years added to his jail sentence for his crimes. Court of Appeal judges in London declared a “just” 
sentence of 20 years should replace the “unduly lenient” 15 years he was given in May.

Paterson, 59, from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was convicted by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against 10 private patients.

The case against the trust, Spire and Paterson will reach the High Court later this year.

A Spire spokesman said: “The Ian Paterson case is unprecedented in size and in terms of the novel issues raised against the NHS and against the private healthcare 

“Although the current litigation has at its heart the actions of Ian Paterson, a surgeon who deceived and criminally assaulted his patients, the claimants have also brought claims against his employer, the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) and against Spire, which was not his employer but was where he conducted much of his private practice.

“While the claims against Ian Paterson appear to be clear-cut, the claims against Spire and the NHS are significantly more complex.

“HEFT was criticised by Sir Ian Kennedy in his 2013 review of Ian Paterson’s activity at HEFT, and it admits that it should have stopped him performing breast surgery from late 2004.But it has difficult questions to answer about its knowledge of Ian Paterson’s activity before that time. HEFT also has to explain its delay in informing the private sector.”