Ian Paterson: More inquests to open as part of investigation into deaths linked to disgraced surgeon

Health professionals had so far reviewed 417 cases involving Ian Paterson's former patients Credit: PA

A further 11 inquests are to open later this week as part of a coroner's investigation into dozens of deaths linked to disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson.

A pre-inquest review hearing was told last month that inquests will examine the deaths of more than 30 former patients of Paterson, who was jailed for 20 years in 2017 for offences related to unnecessary and unapproved procedures.

Judge Richard Foster, who has been appointed as a coroner to conduct the inquests, told the hearing a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals had so far reviewed 417 cases involving Paterson’s former patients.

A statement issued on Monday on behalf of the coronial investigation into suspected unnatural deaths among Paterson’s patients, said a further 11 inquests will be opened and adjourned on Friday.

The statement added: "Preliminary investigations under section 1(7) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 have been carried out to identify whether there is reason to suspect that any former patients of Mr Paterson died an unnatural death as a result his care and treatment.

"Preliminary investigations are ongoing into the deaths of other patients of Mr Paterson, and it is anticipated that further inquests will be opened in due course.

"There are 294 further deaths where the cause of death is unknown because it has not been possible to trace a death certificate, despite enormous efforts by the Coroner’s Officers."

Next-of-kin of former patients of Mr Paterson have been asked to come forward and contact the solicitors to the inquests via the coroner’s Paterson investigation website.

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

Another pre-inquest review hearing is expected to be held in late 2023 or early 2024, while final hearings are likely to begin in late 2024.

To date a total of 27 inquests in relation to the former patients of Paterson have been opened and adjourned.

Paterson was convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three of unlawful wounding in 2017 after his Nottingham Crown Court trial heard how he carried out unapproved "cleavage-sparing" mastectomies on patients, risking a return of cancer.

Paterson worked at Spire Parkway Hospital and Spire Little Aston Hospital in the West Midlands, as well as NHS hospitals run by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

An independent inquiry found Paterson had been free to perform harmful surgery in NHS and private hospitals due to "a culture of avoidance and denial" in a healthcare system where there was "wilful blindness" to his behaviour.

Who is Ian Paterson?

The breast surgeon, 62, is currently serving 20 years for his 14-year campaign of botched ops he carried out in the West Midlands

Paterson, who is due to be freed in 2027, was jailed in 2017 for wounding with intent and ­unlawfully wounding nine women and one man he treated between 1997 and 2011. 

He convinced cancer patients to undergo ops in NHS and private hospitals by inventing or exaggerating the risks of tumours to earn extra cash and maintain a successful reputation.

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