Paterson Inquiry looks to avoid repeat of ‘breast cancer butcher’

Ian Paterson carried out hundreds of botched operations Credit: Credit: PA

An independent inquiry into the malpractice of disgraced breast surgeon, Ian Paterson, who carried out hundreds of botched operations, begins today.

The Paterson Inquiry aims to learn lessons from the case and examine how care, safety and trust in the health sector can be improved.

His former patients have been encouraged to come forward with evidence.

Ian Paterson worked at the private Spire Parkway hospital in the West Midlands

Paterson was found guilty last April of 17 counts of wounding patients with intent.

Over the course of nearly two decades Paterson made a career out of lying to his private patients, telling them they had cancer when they didn’t, in order to make money from hundreds of unnecessary operations.

At the same time, in the NHS, Paterson performed unregulated incomplete mastectomies, sometimes known as “cleavage sparing mastectomies”. The operation left more than 400 patients at a greater risk of their cancer returning.

The inquiry will be chaired by the Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich.

In August, Paterson’s original sentence of 15 years was increased to 20 years by the Court of Appeal judges who found the initial ruling to be unduly lenient.

Paterson was a consultant breast surgeon employed by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) and had practicing privileges in the independent sector at Spire Parkway and Spire Little Aston.