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Patient feels 'betrayed' by cancer surgeon Ian Paterson

Police are investigating claims that a surgeon wrongly put more than a thousand women through breast cancer operations.

Ian Paterson is alleged to have used a technique on 700 women that is not recommended in Britain because it can leave infected tissue behind.

It is also claimed he carried out operations - including mastectomies - on at least 450 women who didn't have cancer.

ITV News' west of England correspondent Emily Morgan spoke to one of the women involved:

External review found Ian Paterson in breach of guidelines

A spokesman for the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has said that an external review of breast surgery at Solihull Hospital found that Mr Paterson was not following new guidelines.

In a statement, he said:

[A 2007 internal] review ... identified that a surgical technique for mastectomies used by one of its consultants, Mr Ian Paterson, required closer scrutiny to establish whether it represented best practice.

An external review highlighted that this was not a usual procedure and that Mr Paterson had not followed guidelines to introduce a new technique.

This trust's position, after careful consideration, was that the technique was not an approach considered appropriate going forward, and the method was therefore stopped.

– Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust spokesman

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NHS set up helpline to deal with breast surgeon concerns

An NHS helpline has been set up for patients of the breast cancer surgeon Ian Paterson who is being investigated for possible misconduct.

Senior medical negligence solicitor Kashmir Uppal (centre) with some of the women who are taking legal action against surgeon Ian Paterson Credit: Thompsons Solicitors/PA Wire

Dr Aresh Anwar, medical director for Solihull Hospital, said: "We have invited all of Mr Paterson's patients who underwent a mastectomy to see an alternative surgeon for a review of their treatment and care.

"We are keen to hear from any patient who may have concerns or further questions and have set up a helpline to ensure that these can be addressed quickly."

The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust advice line can be contacted on 0121 424 5473 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday.

Thompsons Solicitors have also set up a helpline for women who may be affected on 08000 224 224.

Woman 'betrayed' over 'unnecessary' surgery

A woman who claims she had two lumpectomies when her condition was benign said she felt "betrayed" and "angry" she had gone through "unnecessary" surgery.

I'm speaking out to make people aware.

I was oblivious to what was going on until I received a letter saying there were some irregularities.

When I was told my operations had been totally unnecessary, I couldn't believe it. I felt relieved at first, but now I feel angry and betrayed.

– Paula Gelsthorpe's lawyers

Surgeon allegedly performed unnecessary procedures

Thompsons Solicitors, which is pursuing negligence claims for several women, made the following claims about breast surgeon Ian Paterson.

  • Mr Paterson allegedly performed invasive breast surgery on 450 women when a biopsy might have been sufficient.
  • A General Medical Council investigation into Mr Paterson potentially spans up to 700 cases of an unregulated procedure that involved leaving some breast tissue behind after a mastectomy.
  • The solicitors said the breast surgeon worked at numerous NHS and private hospitals from 1994 - including those run by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust - which covers hospitals in Sutton Coldfield, Solihull and Birmingham.

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Breast surgeon 'co-operating' with investigation

Surgeon Ian Paterson, who has been suspended by the General Medical Council amid allegations about his treatment of more than 1,000 breast cancer patients, released the following statement:

I am co-operating fully with the GMC investigation and cannot comment on any of the issues raised because of my duty of patient confidentiality and the ongoing investigation.

– Ian Paterson

Grandmother claims she was wrongly diagnosed by surgeon

A grandmother who claims she was incorrectly diagnosed with cancer by a Birmingham breast surgeon said she was "speechless" after learning she never had the disease.

Gail Boichat said she had her breast removed by surgeon Ian Paterson at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.

“My life has been ruined,’’ Mrs Boichat told the Birmingham Mail.

‘‘Paterson told me I had to have a mastectomy if I wanted to survive. Afterwards I was put on a strong drug which had devastating side effects, including the early menopause.

“When the doctor told me that I didn’t have cancer, I was left speechless, shocked, and upset. The lump had been benign all along."

Police probe Birmingham surgeon

West Midlands Police confirmed they are investigating a local surgeon over allegations he carried out hundreds of unnecessary breast cancer operations:

West Midlands Police can confirm it has received a referral from the General Medical Council in relation to allegations about the medical practices of a surgeon who previously worked in Solihull.

A criminal inquiry has been launched and the force is working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to determine the course of the investigation.

– DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR MATT MARKHAM, WEST MIDLANDS POLICE

Follow this story on the ITV Central site.

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