Patients of Paterson left scared of doctors and calling for health care system change

An inquiry into how breast surgeon Ian Paterson was able to intentionally wound his patients at hospitals in Birmingham and Solihull has reported back today.

Paterson is currently serving a 20 year jail sentence after being convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent on 10 victims in 2017.

He carried out breast cancer surgery on women who didn't have the disease.

When he operated on women who did have cancer, he put them at increased risk of relapse by using a technique which left lots of the breast tissue behind.

After being treated by Paterson, Nadia Measures now struggles to trust doctors, and says change is still needed within the healthcare system.

Some of his victims have since died, but those directly affected by his actions have been waiting for today since the inquiry was launched in 2018.

  • 2011 - Attempts made to contact patients.

  • 2012 - West Midlands Police launch an investigation.

  • 2013 - The Kennedy report into how Paterson committed his crimes talks of dysfunctional organisation, failures of communication, and lack of openness in the NHS.

  • April 2017 - Paterson is found guilty.

  • May 2017 - Paterson is jailed for 15 years.

  • July 2017 - Paterson is struck off.

  • August 2017 - Paterson's sentence is increased to 20 years.

  • December 2017 - Inquiry ordered

  • May 2018 - Inquiry launched

  • February 2020 - Inquiry reports back.

Paterson was a consultant breast surgeon working at the Heart of England Foundation Trust and the Spire Parkway and Spire Little Aston private hospitals in the West Midlands.

The inquiry was set up to try to learn lessons from the case, and look at how care can be improved in the health sector.

It's been led by Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich.

The victims say that the NHS needs a better whistleblowing system,

The medical organisations involved with Ian Paterson say improvements have been made.

The Royal College of Surgeons say,

Spire Healthcare say that since the Paterson case they have put more measures in place to encourage staff and patients to speak up with concerns,

The NHS say they have similarly made improvements, but are never complacent.

Before he was jailed we tried to ask Paterson about his motivations.

His motivations may never be truly revealed, but prosecutors during his trial said he may have carried out the unnecessary procedures to try to increase his earnings.